As was discussed at the inaugural PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meeting on January 6-7, 2011, there is a pressing need for the coordination of combination prevention strategies and research, the cornerstone of which will be ARV-based prevention. In contrast to one-off studies of single-intervention prevention strategies, combination prevention is significantly more complex in structure and in design, requiring a more coordinated effort to ensure successful research outcomes. A strategic plan of research, therefore, is an imperative. In addition, this coordination will support more coherent intervention strategies, ensure sample sizes that are sufficient to examine impact at the community level, increase external validity and generalizability to multiple contexts, as well as allow for the development of research infrastructures capable of rapid scale-up of effective interventions. To address this need, PEPFAR has formed a working group of the SAB membership whose major charge will be this coordination. Additional information regarding the membership and specific agenda of this group will be forthcoming.
As suggested at the first PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meeting, a working group dedicated to most-at-risk-populations (MARPs - including people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men (MSM) and sex workers) has been formed. The purpose of this group is to work with PEPFAR leadership and staff to further develop specific research areas needed for MARPs, identify gaps in MARPs evidence base to help inform PEPFAR program, policy, practice, and scale-up, and provide general support and awareness around MARPs issues. The MARPs working group calls were held on February 1, 2011 and May 12, 2011. The next MARPs working group call will be held in August, date TBD. It is anticipated that updates and recommendations made by the MARPs working group will be reported at the next Scientific Advisory Board meeting, to be held in Washington, DC in September 2011. For more information about the MARPs working group, please contact Don DesJarlais or Rich Needle for further information.
MISSION: The overarching mission of the Data Working Group of the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board is to advise the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator on how it can best gather, disseminate and set policy regarding information generated through the PEPFAR program, with the ultimate objective of improving health outcomes in partner countries and contributing to the common good through access to data and evidence-based decision-making.
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