We propose to continue the AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP) at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt). Our mission is to provide Brazilian, Indian, and Mozambican health professionals with multidisciplinary tools needed to conduct cutting-edge HIV prevention research in their countries. The Director and Co-Director are, respectively, Dr. Lee Harrison, Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine, and Dr. Phalguni Gupta, Professor of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology. An exciting change in our program is the addition of a site in Beira, Mozambique, which has striking training needs and where Pitt has established close collaborations with the Universidade Catolica de Mozambique. The addition of Mozambique and the training of a large cadre of well-trained Brazilian investigators over the past ten years allow us to dramatically reduce our training efforts in Brazil and shift resources to Mozambique. As a component of our training program, we will leverage the extensive training already provided to Brazil by conducting south-to-south training between these two Portuguese-speaking countries. Ongoing research in Brazil includes HIV vaccine trials, studies of effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy in public clinics, and changes in causes of death among HIV-infected patients. In India, ongoing projects include studies of genetic heterogeneity of Indian HIV strains, CDS suppression of HIV, HIV incidence studies to identify high- risk populations, and development of a novel Clostridium perfringens-based oral HIV vaccine. Research at our new site in Mozambique is currently limited and we will use the training provided by the Pitt AITRP to jump start a much-needed research agenda there. Trainees from all three countries will have access to the substantial HIV research activities at Pitt, including research in epidemiology, behavioral sciences, and laboratory sciences. During the next five years, we propose to establish an extensive training program in Mozambique;provide limited, selected training for Brazil;and provide laboratory and behavioral sciences training for India. Our successful track record during the first 10 years, the excellent training opportunities we propose, and collaboration with key institutions in our three countries assure that our program will continue to be highly productive.
The proposed Pitt AITRP training will substantially enhance the ability of Brazil, Mozambique, and India to conduct crucial HIV prevention research.
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