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First Drug Use and HIV Research Fellowships awarded at 5th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment & Prevention

15/07/2009 - The International AIDS Society (IAS) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced the recipients of their prestigious joint fellowships today in Cape Town, South Africa. The fellowships were awarded to Professor Maria Gudelia Rangel of Mexico and Kenya's Dr Michah Ongeri Oyaro.

NIDA and the IAS established a research fellowship to advance the scientific understanding of drug use and HIV, while fostering multinational research on this linkage. This is the first year of the fellowship programme; it will continue to be offered every second year in conjunction with the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention.

"We are eager to support what is a continuing priority for NIDA-to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS linked to drug abuse and the other risky behaviors it elicits," NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow commented. "The innovative approaches developed by these remarkable scientists will advance our understanding of this nexus and the value of drug abuse treatment in preventing HIV spread."

"We are proud to partner with NIDA on this initiative. Of the estimated 16 million people around the world who inject drugs, 3 million are HIV-positive. Drug use is therefore one of the IAS' priority policy areas," explained Craig McClure, executive director of the IAS.

Dr. Michah Ongeri Oyaro, who holds a Ph.D. in molecular virology, was awarded US$75,000 to undertake an 18-month post doctoral training under the supervision of Dr. John Wylie at Cadham Provincial Laboratory in Winnipeg, Canada. During his tenure, Dr. Oyaro's work will focus on social networks, status and molecular epidemiology of HIV, HBV and HCV infections among drug users in Kenya.

Professor Maria Gudelia Rangel is a Professor and Research associate at the El Colegio de la Frontera Norte. A widely published and respected behavioural scientist, Professor Rangel has spent more than 15 years working in the field of HIV, migration, and relative topics. The US$75,000 provided for an eight month fellowship will enable her to extend her work into the field of substance use and HIV infection, and conduct research that could contribute to social public policy development in Baja California, Mexico. She will conduct her research under the mentorship of Professor Steffanie Strathdee at the University of California, San Diego.

The two initial fellowships will be awarded at the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2009), which will take place in Cape Town, South Africa on 19-22 July 2009 during the 'Drug and Alcohol Dependence - New Advances and Ongoing Challenges in HIV Treatment and Prevention' session on Tuesday, July 21, at 12:50 p.m.

About NIDA

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy and improve practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA's new DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or fax or email requests to 240-645-0227 or Online ordering is available at

About IAS

The IAS is the world's independent association of HIV professionals, with over 14,000 members in 188 countries working at all levels of the global response to HIV/AIDS. IAS members represent scientists, clinicians, public health, policy experts and community practitioners on the frontlines of the epidemic. The IAS is the lead organizer of the International AIDS Conference and the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention.


For more information:
Jeff Levine
Press Officer, NIDA
+1 301-443-6245

Leonard Solai
Communications Consultant, International AIDS Society Cape Town, South Africa
Phone: +27 84 660 6776

Reproduced with permission - "International AIDS Society "

International AIDS society


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