SUNY Downstate Medical Center (SUNY-DMC) proposes to partner with Kazakh National Medical University (KNMU) in Almaty to build capacity in conducting implementation science research that will address gaps in HIV prevention and care in Kazakhstan (KZ). The long-term goal is to address the know-do implementation gaps in the HIV care cascade in KZ through research training linkage with KNMU. HIV in KZ continues to expand in part due to high rates of injection drug use. KZ leads Central Asia in HIV cases, yet many barriers to care persist in the treatment systems. There is a paucity of HIV research training programs in the Former Soviet Union, one of the few regions in the world with rising HIV rates. The NYS International Training and Research Program (NYS-ITRP) has a 20 year history of successfully providing advanced HIV research training in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Proposed objectives include: 1) provide advanced degree training (MS) in epidemiology for 2 faculty from KNMU to strengthen the research and academic capacity for the country; 2) provide advanced degree training (MPH) in public health practice through a distance learning program for 5 KNMU investigators and faculty; 3) provide distance learning certificate training in implementation science to 4 KNMU investigators and faculty; 4) provide research training capacity building for the KNMU School of Public Health (SPH). Individual KNMU faculty training will be further supported by institutional KNMU SPH capacity-building in public health training and research proposals. Key elements of the research training plan include: 1) intensive mentorship during and post-training for all degree and certificate students; 2) in-country research support competitively awarded to medium to long term trainees; 3) planning and implementation of an annual in-country Implementation Science and HIV Summer Institute; and 4) capacity building at KNMU SPH through public health curricula revision and the creation of joint research proposals. The public health training and institutional capacity-building will buld on NYS-ITRP's history of successful capacity-building in the region. Measures to demonstrate increased capacity include: assessment of academic progress of faculty and student trainees; trainee surveys; KNMU SPH core curricula review and development; advanced in-country research support; and collaborative grant proposals.
This NYS-ITRP HIV Research Training Program will build capacity at Kazakh National Medical University (KNMU) to conduct implementation science research addressing HIV treatment cascade gaps in Kazakhstan. The public health relevance aims to decrease the burden of HIV disease through the systematic HIV-related research training of investigators from KNMU. The training objectives include 1) the provision of advanced degree training (master of science in epidemiology and master of public health) to qualified investigators associated with the KNMU; 2) the establishment of institutional links between KNMU and the NYS-ITRP to expand implementation science research and strengthen KNMU's ability to be a national and regional leader research addressing the HIV care cascade and 3) the training of research and public health professionals at KNMU in population-based research and implementation science research methodologies.