RAND Europe Focus on
RAND Europe Focus on
Despite considerable progress in the understanding of HIV/AIDS and modes of prevention and treatment, the disease has remained an important public health issue worldwide. Approximately 36.7 million people worldwide live with HIV, with the heaviest burden being borne by some of the world’s poorest countries, including many in sub-Saharan Africa.
HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects populations that are marginalised.
Furthermore, HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects populations that are marginalised, either socially, politically or economically. In particular these can include sex workers, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, prisoners and transgender people.
In this context, it is especially important that policy responses and decision making around HIV/AIDS are informed by rigorous analysis. With funding and support from a range of public and private organisations from within and outside Europe, RAND Europe researchers have conducted a number of studies examining and evaluating HIV/AIDS research, prevention and treatment strategies.
Every year millions of lives are plagued by infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria or other parasitic diseases. These diseases disproportionally affect those in low- and middle-income countries, where access to good quality health care, safe drinking water and hygienic living conditions are often not guaranteed. RAND Europe is evaluating the impact of EU-funded R&D on health outcomes in these countries. The study aims to inform the European Commission’s future direction when funding R&D in these diseases.
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is one of a number of Product Development Partnerships created to bridge the gap between scientific and technological potential and the needs of populations in low and middle income countries. Its specific focus is on developing an AIDS vaccine. Through an evaluation of IAVI’s work in Eastern Africa, RAND Europe found that it had contributed to training interventions for supporting scientific excellence, invested in infrastructure at Clinical Research Centres and engaged with local communities and policymakers on issues related to HIV/AIDS and vaccines.
The European Commission (EC) has a long history of engagement in HIV policy. These commitments form the backdrop against which the EC has formalised its strategy to address HIV/AIDS. The most recent policy instruments are the EC’s Communication ‘Combating HIV/AIDS in the European Union and neighbouring countries, 2009–2013’ and its associated Action Plan. RAND Europe carried out an evaluation of the EC’s Action Plan to assess the success of the Communication and to identify areas for improvement. The evaluation showed that the EC’s Action Plan was helping to keep issues related to HIV/AIDS high on the political agenda.
RAND Europe was a partner in Mapping Pathways, a multinational project to develop and nurture a global understanding of the evidence base around adopting antiretroviral-based prevention strategies to combat HIV/AIDS. Mapping Pathways was one of the first integrated, research-driven and community-led studies to provide a multi-layered synthesis for ARV-based prevention strategies. The findings can be used to help inform the research and analysis that communities and policymakers will need in order to help formulate coherent, evidence-based decisions for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention strategies in the fourth decade of the HIV pandemic.
The past two decades have seen a substantial increase in the funding of programmes to control poverty-related and neglected infectious diseases (PRNDs), such as HIV/AIDS. The volume of global research & development investments in this area has also shown a marked increase. The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership (EDCTP) supported RAND Europe and Baird’s CMC in conducting this research to inform the scope, remit and strategy of its second programme (EDTCP2). The study looked at the current state of funding for research on PRNDs across sub-Saharan Africa and involved 303 key informant interviews, with civil servants, multilateral organisations and researchers from 46 sub-Saharan African countries.