SUNY Downstate Medical Center (SUNY-DMC) proposes to renew its current AITRP by continuing to focus on the rapidly expanding injection drug use mediated HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The NYS International Training and Research Program (NYS-ITRP) was initiated as a Fogarty funded AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP) in 1993 to focus on Central Europe. It has since expanded to include 3 Baltic States: Armenia, Georgia, and Russia. This program represents a unique merging of an academic medical center, a school of public health and a state department of health, which combined with other training assets in New York State, allows us to respond to the continuing challenges of preventing new infections in the region. During the past 16 years, the combined AITRP has provided support for 76 long-term trainees, 3 of whom are still in training. They have been remarkably productive publishing over 650 articles and providing strong academic and public health leadership regionally and internationally. With this application we propose to expand our activities to Kazakhstan and Ukraine two countries with large IDU driven epidemics where we have identified strong local partners. We will continue to provide ongoing training to Russia, Georgia and Estonia and expand our training programs to include nurse training as well as enhance the development of regional public health training. The program's aims are: a. To build human resources capacity in our collaborating countries by providing long-term training in the US and ultimately in-country in population-based, biomedical and implementation research;b. To foster collaborative, interdisciplinary in-country research networks among our trainees and those supported by other programs;c. To utilize academic resources in New York State as well as the Fogarty network to ensure that the most productive assets are utilized for training efforts;d. To build in-country research capacity and productivity via a continuous mentoring process;e. To assist in the transition of in-country assets Into regional centers of excellence. In meeting its aims the NYS-ITRP's overall goal is to train a new generation of investigators capable of working in multidisciplinary environments capable of producing the research necessary to guide national priorities for successful treatment, prevention and care.

Public Health Relevance

PUBLIC RELEVANCE: HIV rates are rising rapidly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia primarily driven by injection drug use. A number of social, economic and historical factors place this region at high risk for a continued increase in new infections in both drug users and their sexual partners. The training supported by this proposal will assist in developing critically needed control measures in the region.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
International Research Training Grants (D43)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-ICP2-B (52))
Program Officer
Mcdermott, Jeanne
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Suny Downstate Medical Center
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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DeHovitz, Jack; Uuskula, Anneli; El-Bassel, Nabila (2014) The HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep 11:168-76
Chkhartishvili, Nikoloz; Sharvadze, Lali; Chokoshvili, Otar et al. (2014) Mortality and causes of death among HIV-infected individuals in the country of Georgia: 1989-2012. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 30:560-6
Mazhnaya, Alyona; Andreeva, Tatiana I; Samuels, Steve et al. (2014) The potential for bridging: HIV status awareness and risky sexual behaviour of injection drug users who have non-injecting permanent partners in Ukraine. J Int AIDS Soc 17:18825
Bednarczyk, Robert A; Butsashvili, Maia; Kamkamidze, George et al. (2013) Attitudes and knowledge of Georgian physicians regarding cervical cancer prevention, 2010. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 121:224-8
Czerwinski, Michal; McNutt, Louise-Anne; DeHovitz, Jack A et al. (2013) Refining HIV risk: the modifying effects of youth, gender and education among people who inject drugs in Poland. PLoS One 8:e68018
Friedman, Samuel R; Sandoval, Milagros; Mateu-Gelabert, Pedro et al. (2013) Theory, measurement and hard times: some issues for HIV/AIDS research. AIDS Behav 17:1915-25
Laisaar, Kaja-Triin; Uuskula, Anneli; Sharma, Anjali et al. (2013) Developing an adherence support intervention for patients on antiretroviral therapy in the context of the recent IDU-driven HIV/AIDS epidemic in Estonia. AIDS Care 25:863-73
Teal, Allen E; Habura, Andrea; Ennis, Jill et al. (2012) A new real-time PCR assay for improved detection of the parasite Babesia microti. J Clin Microbiol 50:903-8
Uuskula, Anneli; Abel-Ollo, Katri; Markina, Anna et al. (2012) Condom use and partnership intimacy among drug injectors and their sexual partners in Estonia. Sex Transm Infect 88:58-62
Uuskula, Anneli; Kals, Mart; McNutt, Louise-Anne (2011) Assessing non-response to a mailed health survey including self-collection of biological material. Eur J Public Health 21:538-42

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