Yale University

Malaysian Implementation Science Training (MIST) Program in HIV

Principle Investigator(s):

Funder: Fogarty International Center
Project period: 04/22/2020 - 12/31/2024
Grant Type: Research
Further Detail

Abstract Text:

Despite an array of evidence-based interventions (EBIs) to address HIV – and the 90/90/90 strategy – the HIV epidemic in Malaysia remains volatile. With over 100,000 cumulative HIV cases, Malaysia's rapidly expanding HIV epidemic is the fifth largest in the Asia-Pacific region and concentrated within the most-at-risk populations, including people who inject drugs (PWID), men who have sex with men (MSM), and female sex workers (FSW). This is attributed to an inadequate scale up of EBIs, including access to HIV testing, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), antiretroviral therapy, needle/syringe exchange programs (NSEPs) – to meet HIV prevention and treatment efforts. Therefore, given the need to expand EBIs into the continuum of HIV care in Malaysia, it is critical that we invest in implementation science and the next generation of researchers to curtail the burden of HIV disease. Thus, we propose to develop and institutionalize the Malaysian Implementation Science Training (MIST) at the University of Malaya (UM) – the first training on HIV and implementation science that incorporates human rights training in Malaysia – in collaboration with Yale University. MIST will leverage the combined resources of Yale University (Schools of Medicine and Public Health) with the UM, a leading research and training university in the Asia/Pacific region. The MIST training program will use experts in implementation science from Yale University and introduce a hybrid training program between Yale and UM to initially train UM faculty in implementation and train the next generation of researchers and implementers to have the skills to address the HIV prevention and treatment cascade of care. Specifically, MIST adheres to three core aims, including: 1) train 10 Implementation Research Scholars (IRS) and 4 Implementation Research Faculty (IRF) by integrating an advance training in HIV implementation science from Yale School of Medicine; 2) transfer knowledge and build capacity for the UM Certification in HIV Implementation Science; and 3) develop the Implementation Science Resource Hub to consolidate resources and build partnership for better population outcomes. We will create a regional hub for implementation science by providing advanced training for faculty (who are not yet expert in implementation science), doctoral level training and capacity development of students at a renowned public health university that is at the forefront of dynamic sociocultural, religious and political shifts. Building on over 13 years of successful collaborations and partnerships in medical and public health research for key populations, with or at risk for HIV, we are poised to focus implementation science to overcome health disparities for PWID, MSM, FSW, transgender populations and prisoners, and provide advanced training to produce a phased transfer of knowledge, skills and expertise from Yale to UM over the course of five years, resulting in a model curriculum for training in Malaysia at the top university in Malaysia is led and sustained by regional and local faculty with strong community, government and international partnerships.