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Institute of Human Virology (IHV) Will Undertake Largest HIV Survey Ever Conducted in a Single Country

April 18, 2018 | Nora Samaranayake

Man E. Charurat, PhD, MHS

$100 Million Project Will Enable Researchers to Better Understand HIV in Nigeria

Baltimore, MD, USA, April 17, 2018: The Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) will lead a $100 million project to measure the reach and impact of HIV programs in Nigeria – the largest population-based HIV survey ever conducted in a single country.

"We are pleased that the CDC and the Government of Nigeria entrusted us to lead this critical epidemiological study to better understand the state of Nigeria’s current HIV epidemic,” said the study’s principal investigator, Man E. Charurat, PhD, MHS, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention at IHV. “We look forward to building upon IHV’s 16-year partnership with Nigeria to measure the impact of PEPFAR’s programs in Nigeria, and to pave the way towards more effective prevention and treatment."

The grant award is the result of a cross-collaboration between IHV’s Division of Epidemiology and Prevention led by Dr. Charurat and IHV’s Center for International Health, Education and Biosecurity led by Deus Bazira, DrPH, MBA, MPH, who is also Assistant Professor of Medicine.

The work is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in collaboration with the Government of Nigeria and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to conduct the Nigeria AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS). IHV will lead the effort to measure the impact of HIV programs on the epidemic in Nigeria. The results of the survey will guide a strategy for Nigeria’s HIV prevention and treatment.

IHV will lead a consortium that includes ICF International, the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, and the African Field Epidemiology Network, in collaboration with the Nigerian Federal Ministries of Health and the CDC.  The Institute will receive $30 million in the first year of the multi-year award. Gambo G. Aliyu, MBBS, MS, PhD, Project Director and Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at IHV, will lead the project on-the-ground in Nigeria.

"With this new grant, IHV has been awarded close to $1 billion total in PEPFAR funds, a milestone that coincides with PEPFAR’s 15-year anniversary," said Robert C. Gallo, MD, The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, and co-founder and director of IHV. Dr. Gallo is most widely known for his co-discovery of HIV as the cause of AIDS, and for the development of the HIV blood test. Dr. Gallo is also Co-founder and Scientific Director of the Global Virus Network (GVN).  "We commend President George W. Bush, who signed PEPFAR into law, on this historical global health initiative, which has uniquely put a real dent in the global HIV/AIDS crises.  We are also grateful to U.S. leaders for their continued support of PEPFAR."

Dr. Gallo continued, “Dr. Charurat and his team are well-positioned to take on this pivotal, epidemiological study that encompasses not just HIV, but hepatitis B and C. I am pleased that IHV will continue to work closely with Nigerian colleagues in the fight against HIV and related viruses.”

Institute of Human Virology faculty lead a team from the Government of Nigeria and the CDC to prepare HIV testing technology for household surveys.

In the first year, IHV will lead the consortium to survey 88,775 randomly selected households and 168,029 individuals in Nigeria to estimate HIV incidence, prevalence, viral load suppression among adults and children and to determine hepatitis B and C prevalence. The study spans 37 states in Nigeria and includes training more than 2,900 Nigerians. The work will help inform the CDC and the Government of Nigeria on the status of HIV in that country, and allow them to more effectively fight the epidemic.

"HIV remains an urgent public health problem in Africa and other parts of the world,” said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor. “IHV has worked relentlessly to save countless lives through both prevention and treatment, and this project will enable them to continue this extremely important work."

Since 2004, through PEPFAR funds, the IHV has cared for more than 1.3 million individuals in Botswana, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

"IHV’s work represents the highest aspirations of our university, to improve the human condition and serve the public good,” said Jay A. Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore. “Of course this project is critical to our work in Nigeria, but it will have global impact as well. An unprecedented survey like this will give us invaluable insights into the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS around the world, and here at home."

About the Institute of Human Virology

Formed in 1996 as a partnership between the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, the University System of Maryland and the University of Maryland Medical System, IHV is an institute of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and is home to some of the most globally-recognized and world-renowned experts in all of virology. The IHV combines the disciplines of basic research, epidemiology and clinical research in a concerted effort to speed the discovery of diagnostics and therapeutics for a wide variety of chronic and deadly viral and immune disorders - most notably, HIV the virus that causes AIDS. For more information, www.ihv.org and follow us on Twitter @IHVmaryland.

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Commemorating its 210th Anniversary, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 43 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished recipient of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research.  With an operating budget of more than $1 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically-based care for more than 1.2 million patients each year. The School has over 2,500 students, residents, and fellows, and nearly $450 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total workforce of nearly 7,000 individuals. The combined School and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of nearly $6 billion and an economic impact in excess of $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th-highest public medical school in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine, with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit medschool.umaryland.edu

Contact

Institute of Human Virology
Nora Samaranayake
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(410) 706-8614 (phone)
(410) 706-1952 (fax)
nsamaranayake@ihv.umaryland.edu