[Pia MacDonald, PhD, is Latin America Projects Manager at the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases]
I am here in Guatemala City with my UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health colleagues Amy Nelson (NC Center for Public Health Preparedness) and Clare Barrington (Department of Health Behavior and Health Education). We are here to work on collaborations with the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala and CDC Regional Office for Central America and Panama. We are two years into a project to develop a masters degree curriculum for the Field Epidemiology Training Program in Central America, which is being offered through the Universidad del Valle in conjunction with CDC. The first cohort will be graduating later this year. This week the student participants did a field study examining physical activity of residents in a community 30 minutes outside Guatemala City.
In addition to working on the FETP curriculum, this week we are developing a grant proposal to a) identify locations where high-risk activities for HIV transmission among MSM are taking place in Guatemala City and estimate the population of MSM at these locations and b) to evaluate the feasibility of conducting a behavioral questionnaire at meeting sites to investigate demographic characteristics of the MSM population, HIV risk behaviors and access to prevention, care and treatment services.