Today, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) announced awards for a $60 million initiative, with potential for additional funding in year three, to support implementation science research and the evaluation of programs established under PEPFAR. These evaluations, funded through collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will contribute to the evidence base for HIV programs and maximize the impact of its investments in programs around the world. Data gathered will help partner countries to strengthen their efforts to prevent new HIV infections and save lives.
Implementation science (IS) encompasses a variety of methods and studies specifically designed to guide policies and program implementation to identify effective and efficient models for the scale-up of prevention, care and treatment programs. These funding opportunities emerged from research priorities identified by the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and recommended by the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board. By channeling funds and management through its core U.S. government agencies, PEPFAR broadened its range of funded investigators and created more direct linkages to researchers and institutions in countries receiving PEPFAR support. More than 35 evaluations in over 12 countries will be funded in 2012.
These implementation science awards address a wide variety of topics, including improving the clinical management of tuberculosis and opportunistic infections, providing treatment and care services for key populations such as prisoners, assessing innovations in laboratory and diagnostics, evaluating the impact of community savings and loan group models on child and household well-being, the impact of revised HIV infant feeding guidelines on HIV-free child survival, and establishing linkages between testing and other HIV services.
These studies will yield crucial knowledge on optimizing the delivery of HIV/AIDS services and identifying high-efficiency service delivery models. Such work is a critical component of PEPFAR’s focus on using scientific evidence for decision-making across PEPFAR programs.
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