RTI International and seven other organizations have been picked by the U.S. Agency for International Development to launch and support a number of AIDS programs overseas.

The RTI group, which includes the American Red Cross and eight other partners, will be tasked with supporting countries in HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programs.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Other members of the RTI group are Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative, CARE, International Humana People to People Movement, the Infectious Disease Institute, the Manoff Group, Pact, Plan USA, and Project Concern International.

RTI has been involved in HIV and AIDS research and intervention programs for more than 20 years. Over the past five years alone RTI has implemented more than 100 HIV and AIDS contracts.

"Our expert staff members and partners are dedicated to building the local capacity of communities to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS," said Barbara Kennedy, program director of the Center for International Health at RTI. "Our team will help build programs that emphasize community involvement and ensure the initiatives are sustainable and appropriate for each country and its citizens."

Specifics of the U.S. AID program include:

• Prevention of HIV

• Care and support for persons living with HIV/AIDS, their families and communities

• Treatment with anti-retroviral therapy and related services

• Reduction of stigma and discrimination against persons living with HIV/AIDS

• Integration of gender concerns into prevention, care and treatment

• Program-related data collection and analysis

• Technical capacity building and systems strengthening

• Technical leadership and knowledge management