Funded by USAID grant 523-A-00-06-00009-00; PI: Steffanie Strathdee

In response to the Association Liaison Office for University Cooperation in Development's (ALO) thru the Training Internships Exchanges and Scholarships Initiative (TIES), the University of California, San Diego, (UCSD), San Diego State University (SDSU), El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) and Universidad Autónoma de Baja California at Tijuana (UABC), joined together in a partnership to develop an HIV/AIDS Prevention program to improve the binational response to HIV/AIDS in northwestern Mexico and surrounding regions.

This training program is designed to meet the demands of the emerging HIV epidemic in North Western Mexico, Tijuana in particular. TIES offers a certificate program (diplomado) in San Diego and Tijuana including didactic lectures, field trips and an internship that allows students to put their new skills into practice (total: 120 hrs).

Internship opportunities include the VIIDAI field course in Baja California, rotations in HIV/AIDS prevention research, medical care or laboratory diagnostics or NGO HIV/AIDS service providers. Alternately, three students per year are sponsored to attend a one-month HIV/AIDS Diplomado in Cuernavaca organized by INSP. A visiting scholars program enables researchers from Mexico and California to share information and work on reports to influence policies on HIV/AIDS prevention in the US-Mexico border region.

The training goals are as follows:

  1. Create a binational infrastructure for training Mexican nationals in HIV/AIDS prevention and program evaluation.
  2. Facilitate educational opportunities at the Master’s level for Mexican Nationals in Tijuana in HIV/AIDS prevention, program evaluation, and policy making.
  3. Create sustainable mechanisms whereby undergraduates, graduate and medical students in Tijuana and San Diego gain hands-on experience in HIV/AIDS prevention activities in Baja California.

Participating faculty from these institutions have a history of working together are involved in joint HIV/AIDS research. This program is with the USAID Mexico country plan and the goal of Mexico’s National HIV Prevention Control Program to contain HIV/AIDS and mitigate its impact on the health in the border region, with a focus on high risk and vulnerable populations.