New Research Funding NIH Award to the Division of Social and Behavioural Sciences

20 Apr 2015 - 11:45


The School of Public Health and Family Medicine is excited to announce the awarding of a five-year, R19 million NIH R01 research grant to the Division of Social and Behavioural Sciences (DSBS) to investigate and improve men’s movement through the HIV cascade. Research has shown that men are more likely than women to fall out of the HIV prevention, treatment and care cascade. Improving men's trajectory through the cascade will improve not only their own health, but also result in better health outcomes for their partners, families and communities. 

This new project—Using Information to Align Services and Link and Retain Men in the HIV Cascade, or ‘iALARM’—uses health information to ‘raise the alarm’ about men’s continuing por performance and outcomes in HIV care, from prevention and testing, through to ART initiation, adherence and retention in care.  The project emerged out of an ongoing collaboration between the NY3 Clinic in Guguglethu and Sonke Gender Justice’s ‘Men’s Wellness Centre’, located on the grounds of the clinic.  iALARM aims to strengthen the alignment of these clinic and NGO services for men in the area by developing and implementing a novel health information intervention that will combine data from several existing sources of routine health information into a ‘cascade dashboard’.  The goal is to use this dashboard on an ongoing basis to coordinate and improve services for men, locate bottlenecks in the cascade, and identify individual men who drop out of the cascade more quickly. 


The Division is working closely with Sonke Gender Justice on this grant as part of a broader, joint effort to understand and strengthen Sonke’s community mobiilisation programmes and better link men and their partners and families with health services. The City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health are also active partners in the project. 


The co-Principal Investigators on the grant are DSBS Head Christopher J Colvin and Mark Lurie from Brown University. Co-investigators include Andrew Boulle and Morna Cornell from CIDER (UCT School of Public Health and Family Medicine), Natalie Leon (SA-MRC), and Shari Dworkin (UC-San Francisco.  This grant is one of the recently announced first round of awards from the South Africa – US Program for Collaborative Biomedical Research, a unique partnership between the MRC and NIH to strengthen research capacity in South Africa.  For further information on this grant programme, please see http://www.mrc.ac.za/Media/2015/6press2015.htm or http://nih.gov/news/health/apr2015/niaid-13.htm.  For further information on iALARM, please contact Assoc Prof Christopher J Colvin (cj.colvin@uct.ac.za)

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