The Russian Federation remains at the forefront of the HIV/AIDS epidemic that is spreading rapidly through the countries of the former Soviet Union. The fast growing HIV epidemic has not yet merged with the Tuberculosis (TB) epidemic and creative and timely approaches could prevent the occurrence of a true HIV/TB disaster. The social factors that have resulted in the expansion of AIDS and TB have also damaged the Russian research infrastructure. The goal of this application is to secure the resources necessary to develop a center of excellence in research training and in molecular and epidemiological studies of TB and HIV infections in St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city and the site of several NIH-funded projects. This application will bring together a group of international researchers with extensive international and Russian experience and a track record in HIV/TB research. The resources will be used to develop a TB-AIDS Clinical Training and Research Unit (TACTARU) that can, in turn, train a new generation of medical scientists to develop appropriate responses to the emerging epidemics of TB and AIDS. TACTARU will send individuals to Yale University and the State University of New York for training in the field of Public Health, and in TB and HIV research and clinical laboratories, and will develop training programs in St. Petersburg using the expertise of five local partner institutions.
The specific aims of this ICOHRTA application are: 1) To increase the capacity to undertake clinical, operational, and health services research related to TB and AIDS prevention and treatment in St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city through a mosaic of long-term (1-2 years), intermediate term (6 to 12 months) and short term (1-3 weeks) training plans.2) To improve the academic training and research infrastructure at all participating institutions in St. Petersburg through the establishment of a multidisciplinary and multiinstitutional TACTARU.3) To build an infrastructure that will allow TACTARU to serve as a national center for expanding research capacity in responding to the TB and AIDS epidemics.? ? ? ?