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Thursday, 15 October 2015 02:00

RRIF Progress

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The Regional Research Fund is going from strength to strength. First quarterly reports from the nine research teams show that the majority are making steady progress. Some have already received ethical approval for their studies and have begun the implementation phase of their research.

Most teams have established project governance structures; begun recruiting staff and signing sub-contracts; making site selections and developing protocols and tools.

Highlights among the studies include:

The missing link in HIV prevention: How can ‘cash plus care’ reduce HIV
transmission among adolescents in Southern Africa.
• Ethical approvals for activities in first two stages of the study have been received
• Preliminary work has been done on a systematic review of types and combinations of prevention that may reduce onward HIV-transmission risk behaviour among HIV-positive adolescents (expected to be completed by end December 2015)
• Programme implementation has begun, including stakeholder mapping and consultations, community audit and qualitative fieldwork

Improved Combination Prevention in Adolescent Women in Tanzania and South Africa (EMPOWER)
• Site preparation and tool development activities have begun, including an inception meeting, the establishment of working groups, the development of protocols and a preliminary site visit
• Stakeholder mapping at site level has been completed
• Tools are being compiled for review and possible adaptation by EMPOWER

Evaluating a Combination HIV Prevention and Sexual and Reproductive Health Package for at-risk Young Women: A Demonstration Project
• Start-up activities for the project have begun, including development of data collection tools
• Site assessments as well as selection and standard operating procedures for sites have been completed
• Training and policy engagement activities have begun

The burden of sexually transmitted infections among men who have sex with men in Kisumu, Kenya. Nyanza, Kisumu, Kenya – STIs
• Ethical approvals from three institutional review boards have been secured
• Recruitment, enrolment and screening of study participants has begun

Understanding the HIV prevention needs of men who have sex with men (MSM) and their partners in Southern Africa: KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Namibia
• Project governance structures and communication channels have been established
• The first meeting with all scientific collaborators and implementing partners has been held
• A three-day training workshop has been held

Improving access to sexual and reproductive health services (SRHS) in Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) in Malawi and Tanzania: Developing an acceptable and effective intervention for them with them
• Project management and governance structures have been established
• First drafts of qualitative and quantitative tools have been completed

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