the next generation
of HIV behavioral researchers
From the 2006 HIV Center Fellows graduation. (Photo courtesy of Eve Vagg)
The HIV Center and the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health have a long history of training the next generation of investigators in the behavioral aspects of HIV research. Our current programs serve undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral trainees.
Since 1989, our NIMH-supported Behavioral Sciences Research Training Program in HIV Infection has provided postdoctoral training for approximately 60 fellows, with an emphasis on the recruitment of minority trainees. Recognizing the increasing need for HIV behavioral researchers with expertise in the science of sexuality and gender, Program Director Anke A. Ehrhardt, Ph.D. and Training Director Theo Sandfort, Ph.D. have now focused the training program on state-of-the-art, intensive theoretical and methodological training in human sexuality research with an emphasis on applied problems in HIV prevention.
The Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health is also home to a multi-site training program, the New York/New Jersey AIDS Education and Training Center (NY/NJ AETC) under the leadership of Francine Cournos, M.D. The program has the primary aims of identifying and responding to HIV clinical care providers' prevention, diagnosis and clinical management training needs; increasing the number of clinicians in the NY/NJ region who are competent and willing to provide HIV/AIDS clinical treatment; building community capacity for HIV treatment in minority communities and promote culturally competent care; and systematically evaluating program activities and disseminating best practices. Thus, the AETC sustains a regionally coordinated education and training program that promotes collaboration and ensures high quality curricula and rapid dissemination of information.
Recognizing the critical need to catalyze and encourage new and emerging leadership in HIV/AIDS prevention within countries hard hit by the epidemic, the MAC AIDS Fund Leadership Initiative was launched by the MAC AIDS Fund in collaboration with the HIV Center and the Global Health Program at UCLA and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in South Africa. The Leadership Initiative is a one-year training program designed to help cultivate emerging leaders in South Africa who will make a major contribution to HIV/AIDS prevention advocacy at the local, regional, or national levels. The focus of the program is on reducing the spread of HIV and the impact of AIDS by addressing the role of gender inequality. The Leadership Initiative provides a structured, supportive program to enable participants to learn about and engage in the exchange of successful approaches to HIV/AIDS prevention that can be modified to meet local needs.
The HIV Center has also been a training site for Fogarty International Center fellows from South Africa, Minority Investigators supported by NIMH supplements, Aaron Diamond Foundation Postdoctoral Fellows, Social Science Research Council Sexuality Research Fellows, and Visiting Scientists from around the world. In addition, the Center provides training for psychology interns, medical students, graduate students, psychiatry residents, and other fellows from the Columbia University Health Sciences Campus.