South American Program in HIV Prevention Research (SAPHIR)

Learn more about the SAPHIR Project under our Education tab.

Abstract: Effective HIV prevention interventions require the integrated analysis of behavioral, biological, and social transmission patterns within specific cultural contexts. The South American Program in HIV Prevention Research (SAPHIR) program offers developing investigators from the U.S. an intensive, structured program of education and practical research training on comprehensive HIV prevention in an international environment. Specific Aim 1. To provide researchers from the U.S. with a structured program of education and training based on a focused research topic within the field of HIV prevention in Latin America. SAPHIR program trainees are paired with research mentors from the U.S. and Latin America to develop an independent research program incorporating both secondary analysis of existing data and design of an original research study protocol. Potential research topics include behavioral, epidemiological, clinical and laboratory issues related to HIV prevention within specific Latin American contexts. Specific Aim 2. To provide a program of didactic instruction and interactive seminars addressing integrated approaches to HIV prevention in international settings. The training program includes a weekly series of lectures and seminars on key areas of global HIV prevention, including lectures, journal clubs, research presentations, and ethics case conferences. The conceptual framework for the educational program is based on the intersection of scientific disciplines through the lens of comprehensive HIV prevention. Specific Aim 3. To build the capacity of a collaborative network of international investigators and research centers with individual areas of scientific expertise to produce integrated approaches to HIV prevention research in Latin America. In addition to practical training for young investigators, a secondary aim of the program is to promote inter-institutional collaboration and capacity-building for participating research centers. Graduates of the program accomplish the following goals: 1) Acquire a foundation of knowledge in the four core areas of comprehensive HIV prevention (epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention); 2) Complete a secondary data analysis and prepare a corresponding abstract for submission to an international scientific conference; 3) Design an independent research sub-study; 4) Prepare a study protocol that meets requirements for the ethical conduct of research with human subjects as defined by the UCLA Office for Human Research Participant Protection; 5) Submit a funding proposal for peer review and receive a written summary statement; and 6) Present results of their research in a local community venue and at an annual conference of program trainees and mentors. All SAPHIR graduates acquire the exposure, skills, and practical experience necessary to gain admission to competitive post-doctoral training programs and to build an academic career in international HIV prevention research.

Project Number: 5R25MH087222-07