The Academic Alliance for AIDS Care and Prevention in Africa

The Academic Alliance for AIDS Care and Prevention in Africa (AA) was launched in 2001 to build capacity to fight the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis in Uganda and elsewhere in Africa. This unique collaboration was the first academic program that represented a true partnership of senior academic physicians in North America and those at a renowned medical school in Africa (Makerere University) to improve the care of HIV/AIDS patients. The group recognized that while international resources were needed to combat the ravages of the epidemic, the solutions for longer-term success rested in developing and sustaining African capacity to train, to treat and to develop the research and care strategies within an African setting.

The initial goal of the AA was to capitalize on the synergy between clinical scientists in North America and in Uganda to create a clinical training and research center where HIV/AIDS patients could receive high-quality sustainable model care, while clinically relevant scientific research can be used to answer important questions about HIV/AIDS in Africa. This center would focus on designing clinical and prevention strategies that will be readily applicable to the both rural and urban health centers throughout Africa. When the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) was opened on the grounds of Makerere University in 2004 the AA’s initial goal was attained. Now that the initial dream has been realized, the members of the AA continue to provide expertise and guidance to shape the current and future programs at the IDI as it grows as a center of excellence for infectious diseases in Africa.

The Academic Alliance partnership is co-chaired by Dr. W. Michael Scheld, Professor of Infectious Diseases and Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and Dr. Nelson Sewankambo, Dean of the Makerere University Medical School and a pioneer of HIV/AIDS research in Uganda.