The New York State International Training and Research Program (NYS-ITRP) proposes to partner with The School of Public Health of National Ukraine Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Kiev, Ukraine (SPH NaUKMA) to build capacity in conducting implementation science research that will address gaps in HIV care in Ukraine. The long-term goal is to address the know-do implementation gaps in the HIV care cascade in Ukraine through a research training collaboration with of the School of Public Health and a research focused nongovernmental organization. Access to HIV care is challenging in Ukraine due to an ongoing injection drug use epidemic, a poorly developed health care sector, and an ongoing conflict with Russia. 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-ITRP has a 20-year history of successfully providing advanced HIV research training in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Proposed objectives include: 1) Provide training for 9 ?HIV Research Scholars,? linking in-country advanced degree training with US-based advanced training in implementation science, epidemiology, and statistical analysis; 2) Provide research training capacity building at SPH NaUKMA through the development and implementation of a HIV Research Methods course and an HIV Research and Implementation Science Certificate Program.; 3) Provide training support for annual SPH NaUKMA ?Summer Course? program in HIV Implementation Science. Key elements of the research training plan include: 1) intensive mentorship during and post-training for all HIV Research Scholar students; 2) in-country research support competitively awarded to long term trainees; and 3) planning and implementation of an annual in-country ?Summer Course? in to Implementation Science and HIV research methods. The public health training and institutional capacity-building will build on NYS-ITRP?s history of successful capacity-building in the region and take advantage of its unique in-country research assets. Measures to demonstrate increased capacity include: assessment of academic progress of faculty and student trainees; trainee surveys; SPH NaUKMA curricula review and development; advanced in-country research support; and US-Ukraine faculty mentored grant proposals.
This NYS-ITRP HIV Research Training Program will build capacity in Ukraine to conduct implementation science research addressing HIV treatment cascade gaps. This program aims to decrease the burden of HIV disease through the systematic HIV-related research training of investigators and by increasing in-country training capacity. The knowledge gained from this effort will improve public health by informing health care providers and policymakers about best practices in the management of persons living with HIV infection.