Day 10 – NIH training (NIH Division of AIDS)

We started today with a lecture from the Fellows on how to lead a journal club as a resident. I actually learned a lot and took many notes. Ali and I are likely going to be leading journal clubs at Mulago Hospital, so I can start practicing for residency journal clubs now.

The key content area for the rest of the day concentrated on HIV/AIDS science. We heard lectures from the NIAID/AIDS Coordinator, Director of the Division of AIDS, the Epidemiology Dept of DAIDS, and Microbicidal Research Branch, International Maternal Adolescent Pediatric Branch, Vaccine Clinical Research Branch, and Program Operations. The Division of AIDS has the largest direct aid and research budget in the world for AIDS. Thirty-five thousand people are enrolled in an HIV-related trial at any one time under its auspices. The Division covers HIV vaccines, current clinical management of HIV/AIDS, prevention of mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT), translational research, and HIV prevention. Some interesting facts we learned include: (1) 22% of cases of HIV in India are in housewives with a single partner; (2) need for new technology to diagnosis HIV early during acute retroviral syndrome; (3) the results and future of microbicidal and oral HIV prevention modalities, especially through the microbicide trials network studies.

I picked up my visa from the embassy after lunch and arrived back in time for a talk on the Global Health Fellows Program through USAID. Although it is called “Fellows” it is in fact a job appointment that includes opportunities ranging from clinical care to implementation of health programs in low- and middle-income countries. Fellows are paid according to their degree level and type of degree and jobs last 2-5 years. Most of us at the talk were quite intrigued by the possibility in the future. And yet another potential avenue to consider pursuing in the distant future! There was particular emphasis placed on knowing another language, and I hope I can learn Swahili this year in some meaningful way!

The evening ended with what many of us affectionately called Fogarty Prom, a dinner with NIH/AAMC/Vanderbilt staff and all the international and US scholars and fellows. We had good fun, great food, and most important, amazing company. My table covered politics in a quite lively way! The director of the Fogarty Center, Dr. Glass, came to each of us and spoke with us also. Here’s a picture of Ali and me:

Fogarty Dinner - Ali and Justin

Fogarty Dinner - Ali and Justin

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