Proposed is a new AIDS International Training Research Program (AITRP) to build sustainable research capacity on primary and secondary prevention of HIV, TB and STIs in the Mexico-US border region, which is experiencing a serious, emerging HIV epidemic. The primary institutional partners will be the two largest public universities in this region: the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California (UABC), in Tijuana. We will also engage other academic partners on both sides of the border: the Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego State University (SDSU), El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF), Xochicaico University and the Institute Nacional de Salud Publica (INSP). Despite extensive binational collaborations, our existing training programs are restricted to U.S. citizens. Across the border region, there is a dearth of researchers who have formal public health training.
Our aims are: 1) To develop sustainable regional research capacity to support training in prevention of HIV, TB and STIs in the Mexico-US border region;2) To promote graduate education at UABC by supporting Masters and PhD level training in Public Health and a culture of mentoring developing scientists;3) To advance knowledge in the prevention of HIV, TB and STIs through binational mentored research projects that will support evidence- based translation of research into policy and practice. To meet these aims, we propose a coherent, multi- disciplinary program of education and training in degree and non-degree experiences, based both in San Diego and Tijuana, which are located less than one hour apart. The mainstay of the degree training will consist of MPH and PhD level training at UABC, with the opportunity for electives offered at UCSD and SDSU, and virtual lectures offered through UCSD, UABC, COLEF and INSP. Non-degree training will include short and long term training experiences offered in the U.S. and Mexico. Given rapid increases in HIV prevalence and incidence documented recently among high risk populations in the Mexico-US border region, our AITRP is poised to leverage existing research and training programs to increase the capacity of Mexican researchers to respond to an emerging HIV epidemic that could soon become generalized.
Mexico is facing a serious HIV epidemic on its northern border with the U.S. While our team has gained a reputation as a national hub, offering training on HIV prevention, federal funding restrictions have prevented us from extending these educational opportunities to Mexican nationals who are not dual citizens. Unlike many AITRPs, our program focuses on an HIV epidemic that has a direct, tangible impact on the U.S.
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