GloCal Health Fellowship alumnus, Stephen Okoboi, MPH, PhD, has been awarded with the prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) K43 Fogarty Emerging Global Leader Award to continue his remarkable work in advancing HIV prevention and combating the HIV epidemic in Uganda. The NIH K43 Award aims to provide research support and protected time to research scientists who hold an academic junior faculty position or research scientist appointment at an academic or research institution in a low-income, lower-middle-income or upper-middle-income country. Dr. Okoboi’s project entitled, “Peer delivered HIV/syphilis self-testing with assisted partner notification services for men who have sex with men (MSM) in Uganda (Award Number: K43TW012637),” involves formative research to inform implementation of peer delivered self-tests for HIV and syphilis with partner services for Ugandan MSM.
Syphilis and HIV transmission share common sexual risk behaviors; syphilis increases HIV acquisition risk three-fold. Uganda guidelines recommend annual HIV/syphilis testing for MSM but uptake of facility-based HIV testing is low. Differentiated service delivery models, such as peer delivered HIV/syphilis self-tests and assisted partner notification (APN) with linkage to care could improve engagement in care by MSM. Dr. Okoboi will dedicate the next five years to conducting a randomized trial to pilot test the preliminary effectiveness and estimate the short-term cost-effectiveness of peer delivered HIV/syphilis self-tests and partner testing services versus facility-based testing. His project will not only provide him with new training and skills in behavioral science, clinical trial design and health economics, but will also provide preliminary data for a future R01 grant proposal to further his research.
Among his noteworthy accomplishments and demonstrated commitment to scientific rigor, Dr. Okoboi completed his GloCal Health Fellowship project, “Association of Anti-Retroviral Therapy Adherence Measurement Methods and Virological Failure in HIV infected Ugandan on long-term ART: A Cohort Study (ADHERE Study),” in 2022 at the Infectious Diseases Institute.
We congratulate Dr. Okoboi on receiving the K43 award to enable him to further his transformative work and continue to make an enduring impact in research for effective HIV prevention strategies and treatment modalities.
About Stephen Okoboi:
Stephen Okoboi, MPH, PhD, is the Deputy Head of Research, Senior Research Administrator and a research scientist at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI). He holds a Master of Public Health and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Antwerp (Belgium). He is pursuing a Masters of Health Economics at the University of York (UK). His research interests are ART adherence, HIV and syphilis self-testing, implementation science, health economics and differentiated ART delivery models. In the past, he worked as a Research Manager at IDI where he strengthened research systems and processes that have consistently supported implementation of high-quality research projects. Prior to joining IDI, Dr. Okoboi worked as a Research Manager at The AIDS Support Organization, one of the largest HIV care organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. He has several publications in peer review journals, is a manuscript reviewer of several journals and is an International AIDS Conferences abstract mentor.