UCSF'S Institute for Global Health leads consortium created to assist CDC'S Global AIDS Program

By Jeff Sheehy on October 17, 2002

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded $4.5 million to UCSF’s Institute for Global Health, in partnership with UCSF’s AIDS Research Institute, to create the Center for International AIDS Support, Training, and Evaluation (CIASTE).  The partnership also will include the University of Washington’s Center for AIDS and STDs through its International Training and Education Center on HIV.

“CIASTE has been established to assist the CDC’s Global AIDS Program in a variety of AIDS prevention, research, educational and treatment activities in resource-constrained countries that have been hard hit by HIV/AIDS. The consortium will lead teams in four component areas-training, technical assistance, operations research, and monitoring/evaluation-and will draw support from five affiliated partners,” said CIASTE’s principal investigator, George W. Rutherford, MD, UCSF professor of preventive medicine and epidemiology and interim director of UCSF’s Institute for Global Health (IGH).

The five affiliated institutional partners are the California Department of Health Services, Children’s Hospital and Research Center at Oakland, San Francisco Department of Public Health, Stanford University School of Medicine, and UC Berkeley School of Public Health.  Three regional coordinating centers will be set up in Brazil, India, and Zimbabwe to assist the CDC Global AIDS Program, which currently has programs in twenty-four African, Asian, and Central/South American countries.

“This is a chance for academic institutions to bring their research expertise to bear on critical public health programs being established by CDC in some of the places worst hit by HIV/AIDS in the world. For instance, UCSF’s IGH recently did the worldwide evaluation of the ‘Roll Back Malaria Initiative’, and UCSF’s AIDS Research Institute has a strong track record of HIV/AIDS prevention research in Brazil, Zimbabwe, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China,” said Rutherford.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Global AIDS Program exists to help prevent HIV infection, improve care and support and build capacity to address the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. GAP provides financial and technical assistance through partnerships with communities, governments, and national and international entities working in resource-constrained countries.

The Institute for Global Health is a joint initiative of UCSF and UC Berkeley, founded in 1999 to improve health and increase access to effective and affordable health services in all countries. The IGH maintains a small core staff in San Francisco and works with prominent scientists and leaders from around the world to conduct research, provide high-level training, and influence health policies in the public and private sectors.

The AIDS Research Institute coordinates and integrates all AIDS research activities at the University of California, San Francisco. ARI stimulates innovation and supports interdisciplinary collaboration aimed at all aspects of the epidemic domestically and around the world. ARI houses hundreds of scientists and dozens of programs throughout UCSF and affiliated labs and institutions, making ARI one of the largest AIDS research entities in the world.

The University of Washington Center for AIDS and STD, established in July 1989, provides patient care, research, training and education, and international assistance for HIV/AIDS and STD programming. The Center, under the direction of King K. Holmes, MD, PhD, is administered by the UW and maintains formal collaborative relationships with other institutions, including UCSF, and partners in many countries. The Center was designated a “World Health Organization Collaborating Center for AIDS and STD” in 1995, the only such collaborating center in the Western Hemisphere.