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The Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health today announced it will award $11.75 million over five years in grants to institutions to strengthen the fight against HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in Haiti, Uganda and China and establish a new program in Tanzania.
The five-year awards to train researchers from those countries are aimed at closing the gap between what is known about preventing and treating HIV/AIDS and TB among large populations in diverse settings and achieving results in countries where the two diseases often coexist.
Almost 3 million people are on antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection through international efforts supported by the World Health Organization, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Fund for HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Clinton Foundation and others. However, for every person on treatment, an estimated 2.5 new infections occur.
"Research has identified many effective ways to prevent HIV, but these have not been brought into routine practice," said Fogarty director Roger I. Glass, MD, PhD. "Despite these discoveries, many more people are still being infected than we can put on treatment. If large investments in PEPFAR are to be effective, we will need to train a generation of researchers to learn how to best implement HIV prevention programs and understand how to make them cost effective and sustainable for the long run."
The new award was granted to Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania, working with the Harvard School of Public Health, to build capacity in clinical, operational and health systems research that would advance the implementation of evidence-based best practices on HIV/AIDS and TB.
Award renewals were granted to:
-- The Chinese Center for Disease Control, working in conjunction with UCLA and Yale University.
-- The Haitian Study Group for the Study of Kaposi's Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections (GHESKIO), one of the world’s oldest country-wide AIDS organizations, in conjunction with Quisqueya University and Zanmi Lasante in Haiti and Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Dartmouth College in the United States.
-- The Joint Clinical Research Center in conjunction with Makerere University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Kampala City Council, National TB and Leprosy Control Program and Gulu University in Uganda and the University of Georgia in conjunction with Case Western Reserve University in the United States.
-- The International Clinical, Operational, and Health Services Research and Training Awards for AIDS and Tuberculosis program, under which the awards are made, is the flagship for addressing the new field implementation science, which Fogarty has made one of its key goals.
The program, which also operates in Brazil, Peru, South Africa and Zimbabwe, strengthens a country’s research capacity so that large-scale prevention, care and treatment efforts are locally relevant and effective. The research training involves a wide range of health professionals including nurses, midwives, physicians, dentists, health care administrators and public health workers. Fogarty collaborates on these grants with the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Mental Health.