February 5, 2018

Established in 1996, the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP) is a collaborative research and training initiative between Botswana’s Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health AIDS Initiative.

As a world class research center, BHP is the leading HIV/AIDS research, training and capacity building institution in Botswana. Areas of research include clinical and basic science, epidemiology, socio-behavioral science and community based bio-clinical research relevant to the AIDS epidemic and emerging public health challenges in Botswana, Sub-Saharan Africa and globally.

In 1996, the Harvard AIDS Institute entered into a memorandum of understanding with Botswana’s Ministry of Health to establish a collaborative programme between the two entities for the implementation of HIV/AIDS research and training initiatives. The result was the formation of the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP). In 2007, the BHP was incorporated as a limited liability corporation under Botswana law in order to become an autonomous legal, administrative, and financial institution.

The state-of-the-art Botswana-Harvard HIV Reference Laboratory (BHHRL), which officially opened on 1 December 2001, is a  fully-outfitted research laboratory and training center. The Reference Laboratory houses epidemiologic and laboratory research for such projects as the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and the genomic analysis of HIV-1C, the viral subtype predominant in southern Africa. Research is also conducted on resistance and adherence to antiretroviral drugs. In addition, the Reference Laboratory plays a key role as a training facility, building and expanding the professional infrastructure in Botswana through training the nation’s researchers and laboratory technicians.

BHP research and training initiatives focus on questions of epidemiology, virology, molecular biology, immunology, genetics, clinical treatment, and social and behavioral medicine issues relevant to the AIDS epidemic in Botswana and southern Africa. The culmination of this research and training will be put into practice to develop interventions appropriate to stemming the epidemic and its societal and economic effects.


  • Ministry of Health and Wellness Botswana
  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health AIDS Initiative
  • Harvard University
  • U.S. National Institutes of Health (ACTG, IMPAACT, HPTN)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships (ACHAP)
  • Wellcome Trust and UK Department for International Development
  • European Development Capacity Training Programme
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Massachusetts General Hospital and Botsogo Programme


  • University of Botswana
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Stellenbosch University
  • University of Cape Town
  • Botswana-UPenn Partnership
  • Botswana-Baylor Children’s Centre of Excellence