The Russian Federation is experiencing the fastest growing HIV/AIDS pandemic in the world. In less than a decade, the reported number of HIV infections across Russia's 89 administrative territories grew by a factor of 300, from less than 200 in 1994 to over 50,000 in 2002. In 1998, the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) at Yale University, in collaboration with the Biomedical Center and St. Petersburg State University (SPSU) in St. Petersburg, began an AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP) focused on HIV prevention and covering a wide range of public health-related disciplines. Now in its sixth year, the Yale University AITRP has provided mentorship, research support, and lasting partnerships to 27 Russian trainees primarily in biology, medicine, sociology, and psychology, and enabled them to apply their knowledge in research and teaching positions upon their return home. This proposal seeks support to continue training a cadre of researchers in a broader spectrum of biological, quantitative, social, behavioral, and political sciences to build capacity in Russian institutions to address many important researchable issues that need resolution to mount a multi-faceted response to the expanding HIV/AIDS epidemic. Mounting an effective response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Russia also requires a well-functioning health system that provides effective preventive and care services to diverse populations in different regions. There is no school of public health in Russia to provide this training and no institution that offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. This proposal also seeks to continue building an MPH program at SPSU, a collaborative effort begun in 2002 and led by the Yale AITRP, as a critical step in preparing a new generation of Russian leaders who will spearhead local, regional and national efforts for the protection and improvement of public health, including those required for prevention and care of HIV infection.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
International Research Training Grants (D43)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-ICP-3 (02))
Program Officer
Mcdermott, Jeanne
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Yale University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
New Haven
United States
Zip Code
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
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
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
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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