April 24, 2020

Women and HIV: Translation of Research into Practice

Dr. Elizabeth Bukusi

Renewal funding has been awarded to principal investigator Dr. Carey Farquhar and co-principal investigator Dr. Elizabeth Bukusi by the John E. Fogarty International Center for "Women and HIV: Translation of Research into Practice."



In this 5-year renewal application for the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and University of Washington (UW) program entitled, Women and HIV: Translation of Research into Practice, will continue to build research capacity to prevent new HIV infections among women and adolescent girls in Kenya and sub-Saharan Africa and optimize care and treatment for this high-risk, vulnerable population. To reduce incident infections and ensure long, healthy lives for persons living with HIV, it is necessary to conduct locally relevant research that addresses the know-do gap and informs national guidelines, clinical practice and policy. It is also essential that communities and local health officials participate in identifying the most pressing problems and in finding feasible, sustainable and innovative solutions to address them.

The proposed training program’s primary goal is to build capacity at KEMRI and the Kenya Ministry of Health (MOH) in implementation science focused on HIV, women and adolescents, while creating bridges to communities of adolescent girls and young women (AGYW), local health officials, and other organizations responsible for healthcare practice and service delivery.

KEMRI’s strong commitment to conducting research that informs service delivery and improves national health outcomes in Kenya provides a strong foundation for the program, which will continue to be led by Drs. Carey Farquhar and Elizabeth Bukusi. Dr. Farquhar is a UW Professor of Global Health, Medicine, and Epidemiology recently appointed Vice Dean for Education in the School of Public Health. Dr. Bukusi is a Chief Research Officer at KEMRI who trained as an obstetrician-gynecologist and epidemiologist, earning her MPH and PhD at UW.

The first aim builds on the successful first 4 years of the training program. Seven Kenyans received support for long- term training during this period: 4 MPH, 2 PhD, and 1 MPH/PhD. In addition, 5 trainees completed medium-term, non-degree training at UW. In the next 5 years, we propose to fund more doctoral level training in-country, supporting 6 trainees from KEMRI or MOH to pursue a PhD in implementation science at the University of Nairobi. To ensure a pipeline of candidates, we will also support 5 MPH trainees at UW and 5 year-long certificate trainees who will be based primarily in Kenya and take 1 month of coursework in Seattle, followed by workshops and UW distance-learning courses in Kenya. The third aim will extend the reach of training to a greater number of KEMRI and MOH staff by providing 1-week courses on implementation science, grant writing, and manuscript preparation.

Conferences that bring together members of the AGYW community with KEMRI and MOH researchers and county health directors will be offered to promote community engagement in local care, treatment and prevention in Western Kenya, where adolescents and women are at unacceptably high risk for HIV. Using UW’s well-established approaches to training, this program will establish greatly needed implementation science research capacity at KEMRI and MOH, and contribute to changing the face of the HIV epidemic in Kenya.

Sponsor Award Number: 2D43TW009783-06