St Stephen’s AIDS Trust to close after 30 years of HIV research

Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

On 9 May 2018, several short announcements about the ongoing PrEP IMPACT study, reported that St Stephen’s AIDS Trust (SSAT) and the linked St Stephen’s Clinical Research (SSCR) unit are planning to close.

This is very disappointing news as SSAT/SSCR is one of the most established UK HIV research units, working closely with the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and the Kobler Centre, Europe’s largest HIV clinic. The charity has been a leading centre of independent academic research for more than 30 years and has been a clinical site involved in the development of every new HIV drug.

Limited details have been released about the reasons for the closure, although recent changes in leadership suggest that the organisation was experiencing financial difficulties. The operating loss for 2015/16 was relatively small given that the size of the project, employing approximately 50 staff.

Management for the ongoing PrEP study will transfer to the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on 1 June, according to statements from both BHIVA and the IMPACT study. This will not affect the daily running of the study. [1, 2]

The implications for other ongoing research have not been reported and the SSAT website does not yet include a formal statement of news on the planned closure. [3]


  1. PrEP IMPACT Trial website. Update – Closure of St Stephen’s AIDS Trust, (10 May 2018).
  2. BHIVA announcement to members. St Stephen’s AIDS Trust (SSAT) and St Stephen’s Clinical Research (SSCR).(09 May 2018).
  3. SSAT website.

Links to other websites are current at date of posting but not maintained.