The training site will be the University of Malaya and the Centre of Excellence on Research in AIDS (CERiA), which has ongoing relationships with a number of different departments and schools within the university, relationships with Malaysian government, including the Prisons Department, Ministry of Health and the Anti-Drug Agency. The site also has an ongoing relationship with the Malaysian AIDS Council, the country’s largest AIDS Service NGO that oversee the provision of HIV prevention and treatment for the country. Drs. Altice and Kamarulzaman, now the University of Malaysia’s Dean of the Medical School, have collaborated together continuously since 2005 and these have served as training sites for numerous pre- and post-doctoral fellows.
Drs. Altice and Kamarulzaman have trained a number of pre- and post-doctoral fellows in both medicine and public health and collectively they have been involved in rolling out the first methadone maintenance treatment in the country as HIV prevention. They were also the first to become involved in criminal justice research and have been involved in both prison research, but also in examining alternatives to health and rehabilitation by comparing community models of care to compulsory drug detention centers.
There are opportunities to work with drug use, HIV risk, tuberculosis, primary and secondary HIV prevention and intervention research within the criminal justice system and in collaboration with NGOs that provide health care services to transgender women and female sex workers. The team has continued to train individuals from Malaysia, the United States and elsewhere on issues related to urban health, HIV, tuberculosis, health services research and addiction medicine. Drs. Altice and Kamarulzaman collaborate on one large R01 grant from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse.
We are currently conducting trials of both behavioral interventions and medication-assisted therapies for criminal justice populations transitioning from prison to the community as well as studies of TB in community and criminal justice settings. The current R01 research involves the interface of HIV and TB and addiction and is seeking to optimize TB testing in prisons, conduct a RCT of short term TB preventive therapy and a preference study of opioid dependent patients with TB who are transitioning to the community. New studies underway are examining risk among female sex workers and transgender women. Additional studies include mathematical modeling and cost-effectiveness analysis.