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Press Release

First Drug Use and HIV Research Fellowships Awarded at 5th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment & Prevention

July 15, 2009

The International AIDS Society (IAS) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced the recipients of their prestigious joint fellowships today in Cape Town, South Africa. The fellowships were awarded to Professor Maria Gudelia Rangel of Mexico and Kenya's Dr Michah Ongeri Oyaro.

NIDA and the IAS established a research fellowship to advance the scientific understanding of drug use and HIV, while fostering multinational research on this linkage. This is the first year of the fellowship programme; it will continue to be offered every second year in conjunction with the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention.

"We are eager to support what is a continuing priority for NIDA-to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS linked to drug abuse and the other risky behaviors it elicits," NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow commented. "The innovative approaches developed by these remarkable scientists will advance our understanding of this nexus and the value of drug abuse treatment in preventing HIV spread."

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"We are proud to partner with NIDA on this initiative. Of the estimated 16 million people around the world who inject drugs, 3 million are HIV-positive. Drug use is therefore one of the IAS' priority policy areas," explained Craig McClure, executive director of the IAS.

Dr. Michah Ongeri Oyaro, who holds a Ph.D. in molecular virology, was awarded US$75,000 to undertake an 18-month post doctoral training under the supervision of Dr. John Wylie at Cadham Provincial Laboratory in Winnipeg, Canada. During his tenure, Dr. Oyaro's work will focus on social networks, status and molecular epidemiology of HIV, HBV and HCV infections among drug users in Kenya.

Professor Maria Gudelia Rangel is a Professor and Research associate at the El Colegio de la Frontera Norte. A widely published and respected behavioural scientist, Professor Rangel has spent more than 15 years working in the field of HIV, migration, and relative topics. The US$75,000 provided for an eight month fellowship will enable her to extend her work into the field of substance use and HIV infection, and conduct research that could contribute to social public policy development in Baja California, Mexico. She will conduct her research under the mentorship of Professor Steffanie Strathdee at the University of California, San Diego.

The two initial fellowships will be awarded at the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2009), which will take place in Cape Town, South Africa on 19-22 July 2009 during the "Drug and Alcohol Dependence -- New Advances and Ongoing Challenges in HIV Treatment and Prevention" session on Tuesday, July 21, at 12:50 p.m.



  
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This article was provided by International AIDS Society. Visit International AIDS Society's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 
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