Sociobehavioral Sciences Research to Improve Care for HIV Infection in Tanzania


  • NIH-Fogarty International Center


  • Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre

Start Date:

End Date:

  • Ongoing

Sociobehavioral Sciences Research to Improve Care for HIV Infection in Tanzania


PI: John Bartlett

Investigator: Kathleen J. Sikkema

Funder: Fogarty International Center, D43, 2013-2019

Partner: KCMC in Moshi, Tanzania


Responding to Tanzanian National priorities for the prevention of HIV and the care of persons living with HIV, Duke University and the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) developed a Sociobehavioral Sciences (SBS) Core at KCMC focused on HIV/AIDS. SBS research skills are essential for understanding critical issues relating to HIV testing, linkage and retention in care, treatment adherence, and co-morbidities such as mental illness and substance abuse, which relate strongly to clinical outcomes. Their research will expand existing collaborative research efforts under the leadership of the newly developed KCMC SBS Core Team.

Given the goal of research independence and creation of a regional training facility for the Team by April 2018, we have developed a plan for team composition which emphasizes robust and complementary SBS research skills. Candidates are receiving PhD training pursuing expertise in epidemiology/public health, health promotion/behavior, psychology, biomedical engineering/rapid diagnostics, and biostatistics; one in medical training for psychiatry. Additional team members will initiate medium- and short-term training to develop expertise in psychiatry, public health aspects of mental illness, nursing, data management and research administration.  All training is conducted in unique model in collaboration with the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Strong mentorship is offered by faculty at Duke University, KCMC, and UCT, through their expertise and funded research in SBS aspects of HIV infection. Program administration builds upon the past training successes of the KCMC-Duke collaboration, and future success will be ensured through careful communication, rigorous monitoring and evaluation, and accountability to the Training Advisory Committee and an External Advisory Committee.