Harvard School of Public Health
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An online news digest from the Center for Health Communication at the Harvard School of Public Health. The site covers critical public health issues from around the world. It is designed to be a resource for an international audience of policy makers and journalists as well as public health researchers, practitioners, and advocates.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Gives $25 Million to Harvard School of Public Health for AIDS Prevention in Nigeria
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has granted $25 million to the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in collaboration with the Harvard Center for International Development for a prevention program in Nigeria, the most populous nation on the African continent. The Nigerian AIDS Prevention Initiative will begin by profiling the nature of HIV infection in Nigeria. Researchers will then target prevention programs as HSPH has done successfully for many years in Senegal where infection rates have remained stable at two percent. Training for Nigerian scientists and policy makers to devise AIDS prevention strategies and to build the country’s epidemiological and laboratory capacities will be performed jointly by HSPH and colleagues at the Center for International Development at the Kennedy School of Government. HSPH researchers will also work with Nigerian colleagues to standardize screening and data collection, so that the information gathered about seroprevalence is accurate. They will also help upgrade laboratory facilities for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the two states chosen and will provide STD treatment, particularly among commercial sex workers, and determine the impact of prevention on HIV spread. The initiative will also provide screening for pregnant women and antiretroviral treatment for those who test positive. Findings on levels of infection among these women and on the strains of HIV identified will be shared with Nigerian colleagues and will inform public education efforts.