The broad HIV-1 genetic diversity and the emergence of drug resistant variants in Cameroon adds to complicate the viral genetic diversity and poses potential problems for diagnosis and prevention efforts, requiring that the evolution of HIV-1 diversity be monitored, and that new HIV-1 variants be examined for sensitivity of detection by different HIV-1 test kits. These problems continue to underscore the need for further training and research in Cameroon. This training program entitled "Training Program on HIV Diversity and Drug Resistance: enhancing research capacity" is designed with long-term to build and strengthen research capacity at the Medical Diagnostic Center in Yaounde, Cameroon for conducting studies to 1) document and monitor HIV-1 genetic diversity and evolution;2) document and monitor the emergence antiretroviral drug resistant HIV-1 variants;3) study the biologic and immunologic properties of different HIV-1 variants including emerging and drug resistant strains;4) monitor the ability of commercially available test kits to diagnose infection by caused by diverse HIV-1 strains;and 5) to improve quality assurance and laboratory biosafety. To achieve these objectives we will: a) Organize in-country training workshops that will provide short-term local onsite training on: i) quality assurance and laboratory biosafety;ii new technologies and commercially available test kits for the diagnosis of infections caused by diverse HIV strains;and iii) scientific and grant writing skills. b) Provide long-term training in New York for studies of molecular biology/epidemiology/biostatistics relevant to studies of HIV genetic diversity through non-degree or degree programs for pre- and post-doctoral fellows. c) Provide medium-term training in New York for fellows to perform hands-on-laboratory training on viral genetic subtype characterization and computational analysis to document and identify diverse HIV-1 strains and/or drug resistance mutations, and viral biologic and immunologic properties. d) Provide short-term training through hands-on-training in documenting drug resistance mutations and data interpretation, to attend courses on epidemiology and biostatistics and to work one-on-one with relevant mentors. And, e) To support in-country research by providing small grants to appropriate long-term "alumni" fellows to conduct studies that addresses the research goals of the MDC. This training program should build and strengthen the research capacity at MDC to conduct studies on HIV-1 diversity and drug resistance that are relevant to intervention and prevention programs in Cameroon.
This training program entitled Training Program on HIV Diversity and Drug Resistance: enhancing research capacity is designed to build and strengthen research capacity at the Medical Diagnostic Center in Yaounde, Cameroon for conducting studies to document and monitor HIV-1 genetic diversity, the emergence antiretroviral drug resistant variants, study the biologic and immunologic properties of diverse HIV-1 and drug resistant, to evaluate test kits to diagnose infections by caused by diverse HIV-1 strains, and to improve quality assurance and laboratory biosafety at the MDC. These objectives are crucial for strengthening and increase research capacity at the MDC and in implementing appropriate intervention programs to prevent HIV- 1 infection and for patient care in Cameroon.