Leading HIV/AIDS Research Organization Affiliates with University of California, Berkeley's DC Campus

Jun 24, 2010, 09:00 ET from Forum for Collaborative HIV Research

New Affiliation Will Advance HIV Research and Policy Agenda

WASHINGTON, June 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two leading institutions in public health and health policy are joining forces to accelerate the nation's progress in fighting HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and tuberculosis in Washington – the Forum for Collaborative HIV Research and the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.

Building on more than a decade of identifying and addressing emerging issues in the prevention, care, and treatment of people affected by HIV/AIDS, the Forum is now part of the University of California (UC), Berkeley School of Public Health and has set up new facilities at the UC campus in Washington, DC. While not changing the Forum's mission, this new affiliation allows the Forum to take advantage of existing partnerships with faculty and researchers at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health to frame the issues and help set the research strategy in HIV/AIDS, co-infection and advancing universal HIV testing.  

"We anticipate our affiliation with the UC Berkeley School of Public Health will be mutually enriching across many dimensions," said Dr. Veronica Miller, executive director of the Forum. "The School has expressed full support for our research, policy and educational missions concerning HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis, which bring an extra dimension to the school's own research and educational mission." Dr. Miller will be a visiting professor at the School during the transition.

"With this partnership the School has further strengthened our ability to influence national and international health policy development," said Dr. Stephen Shortell, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. "The Forum strengthens our programs in infectious disease, epidemiology and health policy and will provide our students with new and exciting opportunities in the nation's capital."  

The two institutions are joining forces at a critical time in advancing HIV/AIDS research and public policy. Although important progress has been made in lowering the annual number of AIDS-related deaths, more than 1 million Americans are living with HIV/AIDS and an estimated 56,000 are infected with HIV every year. To change these statistics, the Forum is planning a number of major initiatives to advance the research agenda and spur national momentum toward universal testing for HIV. This includes hosting the 2010 National Summit on HIV Diagnosis, Prevention, and Access to Care in Washington and issuing a series of reports on the risk of coronary artery disease in patients on antiretroviral treatment, designing effective treatments for hepatitis C, and pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis, which includes developing a plan for combined data analysis.

The Forum is also working with industry and global health partners on impediments to monitoring of risks in current usage of antiretrovirals in resource-limited settings and assessing evolving clinical trial design for experimental antiretrovirals.

"The School of Public Health and the HIV Forum already share a history of commitment to overcoming major threats to public health through the deployment of science, partnerships and policy," said Dr. Judith Aberg, associate professor of infectious disease at New York University School of Medicine and co-chair of the Forum's Executive Committee.

The Forum's new address is the University of California District of Columbia campus, 1608 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20036. See www.ucdc.edu.

About the Forum for Collaborative HIV Research
Founded in 1997, the Forum is the outgrowth of the Keystone Center's report "The Keystone National Policy Dialogue on Establishment of Studies to Optimize Medical Management of HIV Infection," which called for an ongoing collaboration among stakeholders to address emerging issues in HIV/AIDS and set the research strategy. Representing government, industry, patient advocates, healthcare providers, foundations and academia, the Forum is a public/private partnership that is guided by an Executive Committee that sets the research agenda. The Forum organizes roundtables and issues reports on a range of global HIV/AIDS issues, including treatment-related toxicities, immune-based therapies, health services research, co-infections, prevention, and the transference of research results into care. Forum recommendations have changed the ways that clinical trials are conducted, accelerated the delivery of new classes of drugs, heightened awareness of TB/HIV co-infection, and helped to spur national momentum toward universal testing for HIV.

About the UC Berkeley School of Public Health

The first school of public health west of the Mississippi, The UC Berkeley School of Public Health was founded in 1943 on the Berkeley campus, where it had its origins almost two decades earlier with the creation of the Department of Hygiene in 1919.  The School has more than 12,000 graduates working throughout the world. It offers 11 M.P.H. programs and five doctoral programs, along with numerous joint programs with schools of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, business, public policy, and social welfare, among others. There are currently more than 500 matriculated students, of whom 173 are doctoral students.  The faculty is composed of leading scholars in their respective fields and the school enjoys a premier reputation among public health schools around the world.  In addition to its graduate degree programs and an undergraduate major, the School offers a global health leadership certificate program for worldwide health care leaders. For more about the School, go to www.sph.berkeley.edu.

SOURCE Forum for Collaborative HIV Research



RELATED LINKS

http://sph.berkeley.edu


http://www.ucdc.edu