With increased emphasis worldwide on the development and implementation of programs to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Mailman School of Public Health has been at the forefront of efforts to establish HIV care and treatment programs in resource-limited settings. In order to facilitate and support these efforts and to efficiently and effectively utilize programmatic resources, the Mailman School is establishing the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs at Columbia University (ICAP).
Currently, the Center includes four major initiatives/programs:
The Mailman School's MTCT-Plus Initiative, the first multi-country, family-centered HIV care and treatment program in resource-limited settings, supports several programs in resource limited settings to provide comprehensive HIV care and treatment to HIV-infected women and their families. The model of care is unique, centered on family-based care provided by a multidisciplinary team. Initially funded by a coalition of eight foundations and recently expanded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the MTCT-Plus Initiative has established care and treatment programs in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia and enrolled nearly 4,000 adults and children in its first year. Funding support totals over $100 million.
Established last February through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Multicountry Columbia Antiretroviral Program (MCAP) expands care and treatment efforts further by providing antiretroviral therapy and related services to larger patient populations in sub-Saharan Africa. Major programs are in development in collaboration with Ministries of Health and other in-country partners in Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania.
The University Technical Assistance Program (UTAP) is a CDC-funded program which provides technical support to various HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment activities in Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, and Tanzania.
In collaboration with the Clinton Foundation, the HIV Care and Treatment Program in the Dominican Republic provides technical support for the establishment of HIV care and treatment programs in the Dominican Republic.
"Creating synergy among service delivery, research, and training activities, the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs will streamline resources from the Mailman School and partner organizations around the world," according to Dr. Allan Rosenfield, dean of the Mailman School. "Bringing these technical, programmatic, and management resources to bear on international HIV/AIDS programs will make ICAP a leader in addressing the most important global public health problem of this century," he added. ICAP will work in close collaboration with other Columbia University global HIV-related programs and with the Mailman School's Center for Global Health and Economic Development.
The director of the new Center is Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, professor of clinical epidemiology and medicine and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Epidemiologic Research at the Mailman School. Dr. El-Sadr has extensive experience in the development of services and research programs in HIV and tuberculosis in the United States and internationally. The deputy director of ICAP is Thomas W. Hardy, MBA, assistant clinical professor of population and family health. Mr. Hardy has been instrumental in the development of multiple international health-related programs.
Within the Center, the program directors for the current programs are Elaine Abrams, MD (MTCT-Plus), Alan Berkman, MD, (Dominican Republic), David Hoos, MD, MPH (MCAP), and Jessica Justman, MD (UTAP). ICAP also has four Technical Units, with the Clinical Unit directed by Miriam Rabkin, MD, MPH. Unit Directors for Training, Monitoring/Evaluation, and Management will be named shortly.