The Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine offers inpatient and outpatient services at Groote Schuur Hospital, and outreach to UCT’s affiliated hospitals. The division has an international profile in clinical research, particularly in the fields of HIV, tuberculosis, antimicrobial resistance, and travel medicine. The Division is home to the Cape Town GeoSentinel Travel Surveillance Network Site, a sentinel site for imported infectious diseases. The Division leads policy development for infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance strategy at the Provincial and National level.
Undergraduate lectures are given to medical and allied students. The Division accepts undergraduate and postgraduate elective students, but as these rotations are highly sought, application a minimum of 6 months ahead of time is advised. We are an ESCMID (European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases) Collaborating Centre and as such, accept postgraduate clinical observerships from qualified doctors and specialists in Infectious Diseases.
The research activities of the Division focus on the major burden of infection in South Africa, namely HIV and tuberculosis, and are home to the Clinical Infectious Diseases Research Initiative (CIDRI) and the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre. In response to the growing international threat of antimicrobial resistance, the Clinical Unit at Groote Schuur Hospital has developed a programme of research into implementing antibiotic stewardship strategies. Similarly, the increasing importance of the traveller as a sentinel for epidemics and imported infection is at the heart of Cape Town’s Geosentinel programme of research. The recent identification of Emmonsia, a new fungal infection in HIV-infected persons, and the results of 3-5 years of follow-up of the first renal transplants from HIV-infected donors to HIV-infected recipients, were both published in the New England Journal of Medicine, just 2 examples of the prolific research output of the Division.
The day-to-day work of the Division is intimately integrated with that of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) Departments of Microbiology and Virology, to provide a seamless infection service to the Hospital. The Division runs a same-day inpatient consult service for Groote Schuur Hospital resulting in over 500 specialist consults per year. Specialist outpatient HIV services are available, and an HIV rapid assessment unit has been opened to support secondary and primary HIV services for a same-day service. The Division provides outreach and support to 5 of UCT’s affiliated hospitals, performing ID and antibiotic stewardship ward rounds on a weekly basis. Weekly antibiotic stewardship rounds are also performed at Groote Schuur Hospital in the departments of Medicine, Surgery, ICU, EU, Transplantation, and Obstetrics and Gynaecology.