August 20, 2016
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NIH awards $9.4 million grant to improve HIV care in Central Africa

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The NIH has awarded a $9.4 million grant to researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System, in collaboration with the City University of New York, to conduct an observational study in Central Africa to improve clinical and health care for patients with HIV, according to a press release.

In the study, known as Central Africa International Epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS (CA-IeDEA), the researchers will partner with health officials from Burundi, Cameroon, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to collect data from electronic medical records of children and adults with HIV receiving ART. The data will be transferred to an external database for analysis. The collaboration will eventually be extended to include the Republic of Congo, the release said.

“Over the next 5 years, we will use our high-quality data to address scientific clinical and health care delivery questions that will inform care in Central Africa and beyond,” Kathy Anastos, MD, CA-IeDEA investigator and co-director of the Global Health Center and professor of medicine at Albert Einstein, and attending physician at Montefiore, said in the release. “During our first 5 years leading CA-IeDEA, we built the research capacity and technical infrastructure for tackling this enormous project.”

During the study, Anastos and colleagues will increase the number of clinical sites involved in the research from 15 to 20 and expand the work of CA-IeDEA to rural areas of Africa.

According to the release, Anastos and other researchers from CA-IeDEA, including Denis Nash, PhD, professor at the CUNY School of Public Health and executive director of CUNY’s Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health, will use this data for other research projects. Nash and colleagues will use implementation science to identify challenges to provide better quality treatment and services.

“Through IeDEA, we are also learning about the ability of HIV clinical sites to diagnose and manage other chronic conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, and mental illness This is very cutting-edge work, with relevance to health systems in Central Africa and beyond,” Nash said in the release. “The IeDEA project is helping us learn more about the models and approaches to HIV care delivery at scale that result in optimal clinical outcomes, such as long-term retention in care and survival.”

Disclosure: Infectious Disease News was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.