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Title: The HIVTools Research Group
Post by: kevinkelleher on January 26 2010, 11:12 pm
he HIVTools Research Group is a multidisciplinary academic research group doing HIV/AIDS-related research in resource-poor settings. Based in the Health Policy Unit at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the group carries out research and training in modelling and economic analysis. Co-ordinated by Charlotte Watts and Lilani Kumaranayake, group members are specialists in economics, mathematics, epidemiology, behavioural science and policy analysis.

Research undertaken by the group is primarily quantitative, empirical and field-based. Our focus is on addressing policy-oriented research questions in collaboration with our research partners. Research focuses on a range of areas:

Integrated and intersectoral initiatives - including those working with injecting drug users (IDUs), youth, workplace, and Tuberculosis/HIV
New technologies: diagnostics, antiretrovirals, microbicides
HIV prevention, care and treatment interventions
Violence and HIV: violence against women

Policy and programming applications of the research include:
National planning and financing, resource allocation and replication scaling up
Intervention monitoring and evaluation
Priority-setting
Standardisation of methodologies
Tools for decision-making

The HIVTools Research Group has been working on the impact and cost-effectiveness of HIV prevention activities and has developed a cost-effectiveness tool-kit. The toolkit 'HIVTools' is a package of relatively simple, user-friendly models targeted at policy makers and programme managers. The toolkit includes costing guidelines for different STD and HIV prevention activities and mathematical simulation models. The models use epidemiological, behavioural and intervention specific inputs to make estimates of the number of HIV infections averted, over different timeframes, for different interventions. The cost and impact data obtained can be combined to estimate cost-effectiveness ratios for a particular intervention.

The HIVTools toolkit covers an expanding range of interventions including condom promotion, STD control, blood safety, needle exchange and the use of microbicides, as well as interventions for specific vulnerable population groups (injecting drug users, sex workers and adolescents). The toolkit has been field-tested in Bangladesh, Belarus, Cameroon, Ukraine, South Africa and Zambia.

The HIVTools Research Group collaborates with three DFID knowledge programmes based at LSHTM: Health Economics and Financing, AIDS and Tuberculosis Programmes and the International Perinatal Care Programme at the Institute of Child Health. The group also works collaboratively with partners in each of the project countries to undertake research and strenghten capacity.

Funders of the HIVTools Research Group include: UNAIDS, DFID, Ford Foundation, the British Council, PATH-DC, International Family Health (IFH), the Rockefeller Foundation, and WHO.

http://www.hivtools.lshtm.ac.uk/