During the past decade we have concentrated our efforts in St. Petersburg, Russia training young behavioral and medical scientists to participate in interdisciplinary HIV epidemiological, behavioral, and prevention research. Our most successful trainees - those who have made significant contributions to past and ongoing research collaborations - have been university-affiliated junior faculty members who conduct their research in either non-governmental organizations, research institutes, or branches of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Building on these successes, we will continue to provide interdisciplinary mentored research training to build cadres of research competence at these institutions and simultaneously develop the necessary interdisciplinary collaborations to succeed in building research teams to conduct epidemiological, behavioral, and prevention research in St. Petersburg and more broadly in the Russian Federation. We have identified five focus areas for research training: primary prevention for high-risk populations, secondary HIV prevention for HIV positives, health services research, nursing research, and translational research. This application will describe the successes and challenges of our current training program, highlight the research conducted by trainees in collaboration with their Yale mentors, and detail the new directions we will take to continue to produce well-trained, motivated, and successful researchers who possess the interdisciplinary competencies to succeed as research scientists and make productive contributions in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Russia, which remains one of the fastest growing in the world.

Public Health Relevance

Research is needed to develop effective responses to the HIV epidemic in Russia. This grant will allow US scientists to build partnerships with their counterparts in St Petersburg to train young and emerging scientists to conduct meaningful research in primary and secondary HIV prevention, nursing research, and health services and translational research. The program described in this application contains a mix of long-, medium-, and short-term training that will enhance research capacity and promote translational activities to increase the public health impact of the research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
International Research Training Grants (D43)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BDA-N (51))
Program Officer
Mcdermott, Jeanne
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Yale University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
New Haven
United States
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Ruiz, Monica S; Heimer, Robert; Levina, Olga S et al. (2018) HIV-care access among people with incarceration experience in St. Petersburg, Russia. Eur J Public Health 28:145-149
Heimer, Robert; Usacheva, Nina; Barbour, Russell et al. (2017) Engagement in HIV care and its correlates among people who inject drugs in St Petersburg, Russian Federation and Kohtla-Järve, Estonia. Addiction 112:1421-1431
Ustinov, A; Suvorova, A; Belyakov, A et al. (2016) Psychiatric Distress, Drug Use, and HIV Viral Load Suppression in Russia. AIDS Behav 20:1603-8
Abdala, Nadia; Li, Fangyong; Shaboltas, Alla V et al. (2016) History of Childhood Abuse, Drinking Motives, Alcohol Use, and Sexual Risk Behavior Among STD Clinic Patients in St. Petersburg, Russia: A Cross-Sectional Study. AIDS Behav 20:512-22
Heimer, Robert; Lyubimova, Aleksandra; Barbour, Russell et al. (2016) Emergence of methadone as a street drug in St. Petersburg, Russia. Int J Drug Policy 27:97-104
Dukhovlinova, Elena; Masharsky, Alexey; Toussova, Olga et al. (2015) Two Independent HIV Epidemics in Saint Petersburg, Russia Revealed by Molecular Epidemiology. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 31:608-14
Suvorova, Alena; Belyakov, Andrey; Makhamatova, Aliia et al. (2015) Comparison of satisfaction with care between two different models of HIV care delivery in St. Petersburg, Russia. AIDS Care 27:1309-16
Heimer, Robert; Levina, Olga S; Osipenko, Victoria et al. (2015) Impact of incarceration experiences on reported HIV status and associated risk behaviours and disease comorbidities. Eur J Public Health 25:1089-94
Chakrapani, Venkatesan; Velayudham, Jaikumar; Shunmugam, Murali et al. (2014) Barriers to antiretroviral treatment access for injecting drug users living with HIV in Chennai, South India. AIDS Care 26:835-41
Heimer, Robert; Eritsyan, Ksenia; Barbour, Russell et al. (2014) Hepatitis C virus seroprevalence among people who inject drugs and factors associated with infection in eight Russian cities. BMC Infect Dis 14 Suppl 6:S12

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