Principal Investigators /Program Directors (last first, middle): Kamya, Moses, R; Katahoire, Anne, R; Camlin, Carol, S Strengthening behavioral and social science research capacity to address evolving challenges in HIV care and prevention in Uganda Project Summary/Abstract Despite recent gains, major gaps remain to attaining optimal HIV care cascade outcomes and prevention targets in Uganda. Advances will require a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by people living with HIV and their healthcare providers, robust interventions targeted towards these challenges, and insights to advance uptake of biomedical preventions; behavioral and social science research (BSSR) is crucial to this endeavor. A systematic understanding of the drivers of individuals? behavior, the role interpersonal relations play in behavioral decisions, and the influence of socio-cultural and health systems contexts on decisions and outcomes, is critical towards achieving targets and ending the epidemic. However, there are two major hurdles on the path towards inclusion of BSSR to address gaps and develop informed interventions: first, lack of systematic integration of behavioral, social science and biomedical research in pragmatic trials and implementation science research in HIV; and second, a scarcity of African-led BSSR in HIV. We propose to address these challenges by facilitating training and mentorship of Ugandan scientists in BSSR. This proposed program at Makerere University (MU), Uganda, will facilitate cross-disciplinary research that integrates BSSR into biomedical HIV interventions, and supports, trains, and mentors the next generation of African scientists to inform and lead this research. The program will: 1) provide BSSR training and mentorship to address evolving HIV care and prevention challenges; 2) strengthen the inter-disciplinarity of the MU Implementation Science (ImS) training program through inclusion of BSSR training; 3) promote the integration of BSSR in ongoing HIV ImS research projects; 4) facilitate regular interaction among BSS researchers, biomedical scientists, policy makers, and HIV program stakeholders, in order to strengthen BSSR informed evidence-based decision making; and 5) foster collaborations between BSSR faculty in Uganda and the U.S. to enable capacity-building and skills transfer. This program leverages existing collaborations among social, behavioral, and biomedical scientists at MU and its HIV programs, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and Yale University. The program will provide short and long-term non-degree and degree training to strengthen BSSR expertise for trainees at diverse career stages. A pool of experienced faculty will develop and deliver training and mentored field research experiences. The proposed program will: 1) train future Ugandan leaders at MU in four-year PhD training in the health sciences focusing on BSSR; 2) support trainees in MU Master?s degree programs in Health Services Research, Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Public Health, Sociology and Anthropology with mentored BSSR opportunities; 3) offer long-term non-degree fellowship training including a UCSF online ImS course; and 4) provide intensive short courses in qualitative and mixed research methods, theory and practice of BSSR in HIV, and training in ImS. We anticipate the project to result in strong scientific leadership and expertise in BSSR in HIV in Uganda. 1

Public Health Relevance

Principal Investigators /Program Directors (last first, middle): Kamya, Moses, R; Katahoire, Anne, R; Camlin, Carol, S Project Narrative In order to address evolving challenges within the HIV prevention and care continua, we propose to establish an interdisciplinary research training program at Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) to strengthen behavioral and social science research (BSSR) expertise in HIV. The proposed program will build on existing partnerships of MakCHS and its affiliated HIV programs, the Makerere University College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the University of California, San Francisco, Yale University, and programs supported by USAID, CDC and PEPFAR. The proposed program seeks to build capacity for BSSR, utilizing an implementation science lens to improve HIV intervention, service delivery and patient engagement throughout the HIV continua of care and prevention. 1

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
International Research Training Grants (D43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Bansal, Geetha Parthasarathy
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Makerere University
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