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[November 20, 2012]

SUNY Downstate Receives Federal Award to Support HIV Prevention in Ukraine


The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) recently awarded $500,000 over three years to SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s New York State International Training and Research Program (NYS-ITRP) through the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support HIV prevention interventions in Ukraine.

Launched in 2003 by President George W. Bush with strong bipartisan support, PEPFAR is America’s commitment to fighting the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. Unlike the rest of the world, Eastern Europe and Central Asia have seen a rapid increase in HIV incidence in the past four years, driven largely by intravenous drug use. By the end of 2010, Ukrainian authorities had reported over 150,000 HIV cases. With1.1% of the population living with HIV, Ukraine has the highest prevalence in Europe.
NYS-ITRP, led by Jack A. DeHovitz, MD, MPH, is a multi-institutional, multinational collaborative effort sponsored by the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health that provides training for scientists in low- and middle-income countries to strengthen research and public health capacities at their institutions related to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), sexually transmitted infections, hepatitis, and other emerging infections.  The program is administered by SUNY Downstate in collaboration with the Wadsworth Center and the Division of Epidemiology at the New York State Department of Health and the State University of New York School of Public Health at the University at Albany. Dr. DeHovitz is distinguished service professor of medicine and director of the HIV Center for Women and Children at Downstate.
The Ukraine supplement will enhance the ability of Ukrainian partnering organizations (International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine and the School of Public Health of Kiev-Mohyla Academy) and other CDC-funded collaborators to help evaluate HIV prevention interventions.  Supplement funding will also be used to enhance the research capacity of Ukrainian researchers from nongovernmental organizations in the dissemination of their findings from various HIV prevention projects. The most recent PEPFAR-related award to Downstate (2008-2011) assisted a South African university-based research team with their prevention projects on TB-HIV co-infection.


SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.

SUNY Downstate ranks eighth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.