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NIH and D.C. to Combat City�s Epidemic

NIH and D.C. to Combat City�s Epidemic

Officials from the National Institutes of Health and the city of Washington, D.C., have announced the new D.C. Partnership for HIV/AIDS Progress, a collaborative research initiative between NIH and the D.C. Department of Health designed to decrease the rate of new HIV infections in the city, improve the health of district residents living with HIV infection, and strengthen the city's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The partnership is being co-led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of NIH, and the D.C. Department of Health.

The NIH has allocated $26.4 million for the first two years of the partnership through funding from NIAID and the NIH Office of AIDS Research.

"Tragically, our nation's capital has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS, where about 3% of adults and adolescents are infected with the virus," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "By collaborating with Mayor Fenty's administration to establish the new D.C. Partnership for HIV/AIDS Progress, NIH will seek to answer critical HIV research questions that could positively affect the district's HIV/AIDS problem and serve as a model for programs in other U.S. cities as well."

The D.C. Partnership centers on four research efforts:

>Identifying populations at high risk for HIV acquisition and developing effective interventions for reducing their risk

>Establishing a D.C.-wide data analysis mechanism to identify and address health issues and outcomes for people receiving HIV care and treatment

>Augmenting the city's HIV-related subspecialty medical care and enhancing access to research studies

>Conducting a pilot program to study the voluntary test-and-treat concept aimed at stemming new cases of HIV infection

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