CASCADE was established in 1997 and is a collaboration between the investigators of 26 cohorts of persons with well-estimated dates of HIV seroconversion (seroconverters). CASCADE currently contains data from over 20,000 HIV-infected individuals, drawn from more than 300 clinics across Europe, Canada, and Australia as well as 13 sites in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The people who make up the CASCADE dataset are those who have had their HIV diagnosed early so have the best chances of access to treatment. These seroconverters therefore represent the ideal of what may be achieved through early testing and presentation, and set a gold standard against which to compare the outcome of all infected individuals.
CASCADE’s main aim is to monitor people who are newly infected with HIV and those already enrolled in studies, covering the entire duration of HIV infection. CASCADE currently brings together information:
- in an anonymised form
- from over 20,000 people who have HIV, and for whom we can be fairly sure of the date of infection or seroconversion.
By pooling information in this way, investigators in CASCADE are able to carry out research which would otherwise be difficult to do in small single studies.
Data from seroconverters are valuable in being able to relate events to the same time since an individual first became infected with HIV. Seroconverters thus provide a unique opportunity to study HIV throughout its whole infection period and also enable us to examine the characteristics of recently acquired HIV infection in the population over time.