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NIAID Research in India

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Summary of Past and Present NIAID-Funded Research

Since 1999, NIAID has significantly increased its funding to and collaborations with institutions in India. NIAID-supported research and training projects focus primarily on HIV/AIDS, with additional funding for research on HIV co-infections, tuberculosis (TB), filariasis, leishmania, and other diseases. The major NIAID-supported programs involving India are the Indo–U.S. Vaccine Action Program; the HIV Prevention Trials Network; the International Centre for Excellence in Research (ICER) site in Chennai; International Epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS; Centers for AIDS Research; and the AIDS International Training and Research Program. In conjunction with other National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutes and Centers, NIAID is participating in the U.S.–India bilateral agreement on HIV/AIDS prevention sponsored by the NIH Office of AIDS Research.

A wide array of infectious and communicable diseases affect India’s population, including HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, dengue fever, filariasis, chikungunya fever, and leprosy. According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among adults is 0.4 to 1.3 percent. However, because of India’s large population, it is estimated to have the second largest number of people living with AIDS. India also has a high prevalence of TB. In 2007, there were confirmed outbreaks in India of cholera and several zoonotic diseases (those transmitted from animals), including chikungunya fever, Nipah virus infection, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, leptospirosis, and dengue fever.

NIAID-sponsored research involves studies of both diseases and interventions (e.g., vaccine development). A few examples of Indian institutions partnering in NIAID-sponsored research are the National AIDS Research Institute, Pune; the Y.R. Gaitonde Centre for AIDS Research and Education Medical Center, Chennai; and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.

U.S.–India Science and Technology Agreements

An umbrella agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation between the U.S. government and the government of the Republic of India was signed on October 17, 2005.

A joint statement between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for expansion of Indo–U.S. Cooperation on Infectious Diseases, also know as Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases and Disease Surveillance (ERIDDS), was signed on June 7, 2005. An ERIDDS Implementation Plan, signed on October 16, 2007, places NIAID under the umbrella of the ERIDDS joint statement (2005).

A joint statement between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) of India for Collaboration on the Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV/AIDS was signed on June 29, 2006.

A joint statement between HHS and MOHFW for Maternal and Child Health and Human Development Research was renewed and signed on June 29, 2006.

A joint statement between HHS and MOHFW for Collaboration in Environmental and Occupational Health was signed on June 29, 2006.

A joint statement between ICMR and the HHS/NIH/NIAID Division of Intramural Research for establishment of an ICER at the Tuberculosis Research Center in Chennai was signed in June 2003.

A joint statement between HHS/NIH/NIAID and the Department of Biotechnology of India to renew the Indo–U.S. Vaccine Action Program was signed on May 3, 2007.

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Last Updated October 15, 2012