The International Training Program in HIV/AIDS

The Mount Sinai Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP) is designed to build research capacity in the developing world through partnership between the Icahn School of Medicine and partner institutions in Argentina and Cameroon that will enable these countries to combat the global epidemic of HIV/AIDS.

Through our interdisciplinary work in Argentina, Mount Sinai Global Health (MSGH) has had over a decade of successfully building HIV/AIDS-related research capacity in collaboration with a wide array of Argentine partners. These efforts have focused on infrastructure development and multi-disciplinary network building in clinical and research institutions. This work began with a bottom-up approach at the grass-roots level. More recently, this bottom-up approach has been linked with a top-down strategy that involves major research institutions in Buenos Aires and the national Ministry of Health. This combined approach, which engages an extraordinarily broad range of Argentine partners and combines medicine and the social sciences, has provided myriad insights into the nature of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and thus helped to understand the gaps that exist across the continuum of prevention and treatment.

MSGH’s success in Argentina is evidenced by the large number of trainees Mount Sinai has graduated at many levels; by institutional changes resulting from trainees’ work ; by the rapidly increasing numbers of publications jointly authored by Argentine and Mount Sinai scientists; by the successful joint submission to NIH of a funded research proposal and the development of a second; by the joint development of an MPH program at the University of Buenos Aires (through Huesped Foundation) with HIV as the specialty track; and by the establishment of formalized linkages between Icahn School of Medicine and the University of Buenos Aires’ Medical School and Graduate School to support a PhD research track for specialists in Infectious Diseases.

MSGH is building interdisciplinary research capacity in HIV/AIDS in Cameroon in collaboration with strong new partners, notably the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Board (CBCHB). In Cameroon, the Fogarty AITRP will be used as a model to guide the development of training pipelines for mid-level healthcare workers, particularly among those who are already heavily involved in community health development and mental health. This is an example of South-to-South collaboration.