Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support HIV health study in Zambia

A $4.76 million grant will support a team helping to identify ways to retain HIV-infected persons in care through a new Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia study.

stephanie toppStephanie Topp, Ph.D., is a co-investigator and sole University of Alabama at Birmingham representative on a research team at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia that has been awarded a $4.76 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support the Better Information for Health in Zambia study.

The purpose of the ‘BetterInfo’ study is to gain a better understanding of why some patients enrolled in antiretroviral treatment stay in care, while others are ‘lost’ from care. It is estimated that as many as 25 to 40 percent of patients in HIV care and treatment programs are lost to follow-up. Understanding why this occurs will allow health programs and facilities to better meet the needs of antiretroviral treatment patients so they stay in care.

Topp, a visiting assistant professor in the UAB Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, has worked for UAB at CIDRZ in various capacities for more than seven years and has a growing publication profile in the areas of integrated service delivery and health systems research. She previously spearheaded the piloting and scale-up of an integrated model of HIV and outpatient service delivery in Lusaka, and she has a particular interest in the complex and relational spaces in primary level health facilities.