The University of North Carolina has been working in Madagascar since 1995. Led by Dr. Frieda Behets, the UNC-MAD research project has more than 100 full-time employees working at five sites in Madagascar, with central offices located in the National Institute of Public and Community Health in Antananarivo. The in-country director at UNC-MAD is Dr. Kathleen Van Damme.
Research at UNC-MAD is focused on sexually transmitted infections among a cohort of sex workers. UNC-MAD has trained local lab technicians in the testing of study specimens as part of its goal of establishing a sustainable workforce. Ongoing research directed by Dr. Behets includes a NIH-funded clinical trial for treatment of syphilis and prevention methods for chlamydial infections in high-risk women.