Four cities in Afghanistan will house HIV/AIDS projects to enhance awareness, tackle stigma, identify policy gaps and provide recommendations for preventing the epidemic's spread, PlusNews reports (plusnews.org 7/23).

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Constella Futures, an American research organization, will spearhead the $3 million initiative.

“The Johns Hopkins University will conduct three integrated, biological and behavioral surveys until 2010, which will enable us to draw up appropriate policy and effectively design and implement preventive measures,” said Saif-ur-Rehman, director of the national HIV/AIDS control program in the capital city of Kabul.