Over 60% of world's HIV-1 infected individuals are in sub-Saharan African nations. In particular Zambia has one of the highest rates of infection. As in many developing countries, the academic medical community in Zambia is not enviable, and due to limited funds, meaning the emphasis in training most often focuses on clinical medicine rather than on biomedical research. Consequently, little is done to significantly improve patient care and laboratory support services. Faculty at the University of Zambia's School of Medicine (UNZA) and the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), located in the country's capital of Lusaka, recognize that to address the problem in rising cases of AIDS-associated diseases, including AIDS associated mental disorders and neurological diseases, a common and coordinated training and research program in NeuroAIDS is needed. Without such a program, it will be extremely difficult to develop the research capacity and infrastructure necessary to truly impact the country's healthcare agenda and to position faculty to compete for future research funding so that they can fully and efficiently participate in future research initiatives in HIV-associate neurological diseases. In recognition of this, we have now added this International Core as a new Core for the CHAIN Center, where we will work with our colleagues in Zambia to address these important issues.
In this Core we will institute a training and research program to study HIV-associated neurological diseases in Zambia. This proposed program is unique, teaming Zambian and U.S. researchers to address the emerging problems of neurological diseases in HIV-infected individuals in understudied regions.
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