about SHCS

In the early 1980s, when the first patients suffering from AIDS were treated in Switzerland, the university hospitals Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich, and the cantonal hospital St. Gallen began registering patients and freezing infected blood.

In 1984, the Zurich HIV Cohort Study was founded at the University Hospital Zurich. Prof. Ruedi Lüthy, co-founder of the Zurich cohort, succeeded in winning over the other hospitals for a nationwide cohort, so that the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS) was established in 1988. All the data collected so far in the different hospitals was compiled in the SHCS.

The SHCS is a systematic longitudinal study enrolling HIV-infected individuals in Switzerland.

It is a collaboration of all Swiss University Hospital infectious disease outpatient clinics, two large cantonal hospitals, all with affiliated laboratories, and with affiliated smaller hospitals and private physicians caring for HIV patients.

The SHCS is representative for the Swiss HIV-epidemic. The major goal is to provide optimal patient care, reduce HIV transmission and to conduct research on HIV treatment, pathogenesis, co-infections, immunology and virus – host interactions.

The two studies HIV in pregnancy and HIV in infected children are integrated in the SHCS under the name Swiss Mother and Child HIV Cohort Study (MoCHiV). It aims at preventing mother-to-child transmission and enrolls HIV-infected pregnant women and their children

Both studies maintain large biobanks.

The corporate form of the SHCS is a simple partnership and the collaboration is written down in the SHCS Registry Network Agreement.

From 1988 to 2000, the SHCS was funded by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH/BAG). In 2000, the SHCS was transferred to the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) which since then is the major funding organization. Additional funding originates from the SHCS research foundation, the BAG and occasionally also from some international collaboration.