The African dialog on HIV AIDS - ADAC

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The ADAC initiative was preceded by an extensive study of the HIV/AIDS situation in Africa which was conducted with support from the Rockefeller Foundation.

The findings from the AIDS exploration in Africa were presented in the international conference on AIDS care in Africa which was conducted at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel on the April 18-20, 2001.

The goal of the conference was to build consensus among stakeholders on the importance and challenges of research that was needed to accelerate the scaling up of AIDS care in Africa. The ADAC initiative was the direct result of this conference which also issued the famous Kampala declaration that committed all participants to improve AIDS care in Africa.

ADAC was managed as a project with a secretariat that was established at the Joint Clinical Research Centre in Kampala, Uganda. All the ADAC project activities including administrative functions were coordinated at the secretariat, which also played a key advocacy role in disseminating information throughout Africa.

All countries in the East, Central and Southern Africa participated in the ADAC network. ADAC also established contact with some countries in West Africa including Senegal, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria and Cameroon.

Many activities were undertaken under the ADAC programs which include holding of meetings and seminars, organizing educational tours to learn and share experiences, inter country expertise exchanges to maximize resources, small grants to support AIDS care related research in the region and other activities aimed at describing and introducing best practices.

Among the activities that were successfully concluded are the study tours of the Caribbean, South America and Asia, with participants from Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Todate over seventy-six local and international meetings and conferences have been attended by ADAC members in different parts of the world.

The most successful undertakings of ADAC are:  the intensified advocacy efforts that led to increased access to antiretroviral (ARV) drugs in Africa and the AIDS Care Research in Africa (ACRiA), which is a small grants program that seeks to sponsor research that would lead to better AIDS care in Africa.

ACRiA fosters the careers of African scientists and researchers, builds human resources, and enhances capacity to establish and sustain excellence in both research and treatment in Africa.

ACRiA was started as a way of mitigating the human and infrastructure capacity constraints that have made it difficult for young African scientists and institutions to compete successfully for the available international research funds.

ACRiA is co-funded by the RF and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) with over US $1m for the period 2002-2008. Grantees are provided with funding up to the maximum of US $80,000 for a period of two years.

Altogether, seventeen grantees have been awarded grants to undertake HIV/AIDS research with in different countries in Africa. 

Two grantees did not access the research funds due to change of job postings from the host institution (Dr. Lucy Matu) and also due to permission for a study leave which coincided with the study period that was not permissible with the requirements of the IRB (Dr. Magula Nambulelo Princess).

The largest number of ACRiA grantees was from Uganda and South Africa. Most of the projects carried out by the grantees were very successful. The program had built African research capacity and also facilitated capability to successfully compete for internationally available funds.

During the last ADAC meeting which was held in Kampala, Uganda on the 19th of December 2006, the ADAC members unanimously agreed to have ADAC registered as an African Non-Governmental Organization in order to continue with the previous objectives and also consolidate the current achievements. 

On the 27th of March 2008, ADAC was duly registered in Uganda as an international Non-Governmental Organization of unlimited duration, free of political, economic, social, linguistic, religious ties and gender biases.

The registered office of the Organization (the Secretariat) is housed at the JCRC which is situated in Kampala, Uganda.