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Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program

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The Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program supports international HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis training and research for foreign health scientists, clinicians, and allied health workers from developing countries and emerging democracies.

Since 1993, Columbia University has been a key participant in the National Institutes of Health Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP). This program supports HIV/AIDS and related TB international training and research for foreign health scientists, clinicians, and allied health workers from developing countries and emerging democracies. The Columbia University-Southern Africa AITRP (CU-SA AITRP) builds on the strong historical ties between our faculty and South African health professionals.

The CU-SA AITRP was launched at a critical point during the then-emerging HIV epidemic in southern Africa. Centered originally on developing public health TB and HIV epidemiology research capacity in South Africa, the program has expanded to offer training opportunities for residents of Namibia, Swaziland, and Lesotho (and Botswana until 1998), while continuing to train researchers from South Africa. It has further expanded training opportunities to include basic science, behavioral science, and ethics. The Columbia University-Southern Africa Fogarty AITRP is unique among AITRPs in having its principal investigator situated in a developing country, South Africa. The program office in southern Africa is located at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, and in the U.S., in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.

Aims

The overall goal of CU-SA AITRP is to build the capacity to conduct HIV/AIDS and TB research in South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, and Lesotho in order to enhance and sustain continuing efforts to counter the HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis epidemics in these countries, the region of southern Africa, and globally. The specific aims of the program are to:

  • identify and select trainees best suited to the goals of the program;
  • provide post-graduate training in the disciplines of public health, epidemiology, social/behavioral sciences, and basic sciences   focusing on HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis;
  • undertake a training effort in ethics, focusing especially on the ethics of HIV research;
  • encourage and support African and U.S. trainees to conduct HIV and tuberculosis prevention, care, and epidemiology research within South Africa and regionally within southern Africa;
  • continue to build long-term collaborative research links between South African and U.S. investigators
  • develop an in-country and regional training program which involves past trainees, thereby creating a multiplier effect of the U.S.-based training;
  •  build links with other related training and research activities in South Africa, the southern African region, and elsewhere; and
  • provide ongoing support to trainees upon their return.

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