The Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services (CHIPTS) is proud to announce the second year of the mentored pilot grant program for emerging and new investigators (ranging from Doctoral Students to Assistant Professors). Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals of innovative and transformative domestic and international social, behavioral, policy, and combination bio-behavioral pilot studies that will produce data and experiences that will support future funded grants and career development. Proposals focus on the intersection of HIV/AIDS treatment or prevention with mental health and/or substance use co-morbidities. Proposals may budget up to $50,000 in total costs and must be able to be completed within 12 months from date of award. It is anticipated that at least two awards will be made. Investigators from any Southern California university, college, healthcare organization, or community-based organization (CBO) may apply but must work with a UCLA CHIPTS faculty mentor/sponsor on the proposal draft application prior to submission.
Applications for the 2018 Pilot Grant is currently closed. The application for the 2019 Pilot Grant will open in Fall 2018. To stay updated and receive notifications about the application, please request to subscribe to our listserv by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Past and Current Awardees
“Understanding Generational Differences in Mental Health and Substance Use Correlates of HIV Screening and Prevention Using a Nationally Representative Sample of Men Who Have Sex with Men”
Evan Krueger, with mentors Drs. Ian Holloway and Ilan Meyer
This study aims to examine whether, and how, indicators of mental health are associated with recent HIV screening and familiarity, attitudes and uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); to examine whether, and how, indicators of substance use/abuse are associated with recent HIV screening and familiarity, attitudes, and uptake of PrEP; and to evaluate modifiable interpersonal and contextual risk and protective factors unique to MSM that contribute to mental health, substance use, and HIV risk behavior by age cohort.
“Optimizing Methamphetamine Outpatient Treatment through the Application of an Evidence-Based Depression Intervention”
Jesse Fletcher, with mentor Dr. Cathy Reback
This study will implement an innovative intervention which leverages recent insights on the links between methamphetamine use, mental health disorder, and HIV transmission among men who have sex with men in Los Angeles County. An evidence-based SAMHSA depression intervention, Space from Depression, will be combined with Getting Off (a manualized outpatient methamphetamine treatment program for gay and bisexual MSM) to reduce the pernicious link between methamphetamine use and HIV transmission among MSM.
“HIV Positive African American Women in Urban Communities: Compounding Mental Health Challenges related to Adherence within the Context of Poverty”
Dr. Latoya Small, with mentors Drs. Arleen Leibowitz and Ian Holloway
This study aims to examine compounding mental health and socioeconomic stressors on treatment adherence to investigate the unique needs of poverty-impacted African American women living with HIV in Los Angeles. This mixed methods study will explore the lived experiences of African American women living with HIV in an urban setting and examine the intersection of trauma, depression, stigma, HIV medication adherence, and treatment engagement for poverty-impact African American women in Los Angeles.
This project aims to determine differences in plasma biomarkers of cardiovascular and periodontal disease in individuals with and without HIV infection, along with the impact of methamphetamine, and thus determine the relative contributions of HIV and methamphetamine to cardiovascular risk. Specifically, this study will examine the difference in plasma biomarkers of cardiovascular disease between HIV negative and positive individuals who are non-users or heavy users of methamphetamine from the mStudy cohort samples. The research will also estimate the severity of periodontal disease via plasma levels of antibodies against periodontal pathogens in HIV negative and positive individuals who are non-users or heavy users of methamphetamine and determine the correlation between antibody levels and biomarkers of cardiovascular risk.
This study will identify the barriers to provision and utilization of psychoactive substance use and mental health-related screening, referral, and treatment services for MSM in Guangdong Province, in southern China. Additionally, the research will investigate the mental health and substance use-related clinical needs and service utilization patterns among MSM and devise strategies to provide integrated mental health and psychoactive substance use prevention, diagnosis and care, with special consideration of incorporating existing evidence-based screening and intervention tools into the current healthcare system, particularly in primary care settings.
“Changes in the microbiome due to HIV infection: What do substance use and obesity have to do with it?”
Mr. Ryan Cook (Doctoral Student), with mentor Dr. Gorbach
This study will examine the role of obesity and substance use in HIV-associated immune dysregulation (dysbiosis) via biomarker analyses of mStudy cohort samples. Approximately half of the mStudy cohort of young, minority men who have sex with men is HIV-infected, substance-using, and overweight.
“Improving Outcomes for HIV+ Youth in Uganda.”
Dr. Jeanne Miranda and Dr. Joan Asarnow
This study combines a depression and HIV care intervention for HIV+ Ugandan youth with depression. This pilot culturally adapts an evidence-based, lay health worker-led depression intervention and combines it with an evidence-based HIV care intervention. This pilot study will provide information on feasibility and acceptability of the intervention.
“Linkea tu vida (Link your Life): Linkage to and retention in HIV care for PLHIV from key populations in Peru.”
Dr. Angela Bayer and Hugo Sánchez
This intervention aims to adapt, refine, implement and test the initial efficacy of an innovative combination intervention that will employ 1) streamlined linkage into HIV care and 2) short message service (SMS) reminders for care appointments, tracking of PLHIV who miss appointments and informational and motivational messages. The primary outcomes of Linkea tu vida are linkage to HIV care within 1 month and retention in HIV care at 6 months.
“Testing an Educational Visual Aid to Increase Knowledge and Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy.”
Dr. Joan Christodoulou and Dr. Susan Ellen Lewis Abdalian
This pilot project aims to examine the effectiveness of a simple, visual and interactive demonstration with youth living with HIV. Half of the youth in each cohort will receive either: 1) Standard Care and a demonstration of the Adapted Petrie Device or 2) Standard Care. The goals of this project are to increase knowledge about how antiretroviral medication works in the body and to increase adherence to antiretroviral medication.
“Predictive Analytics to Identify HIV Cases in MediCal/Medicare Claims Data.”
Dr. Warren Scott Comulada
In the absence of a single indicator of HIV positive serostatus, a number of ad hoc algorithms have emerged in order to identify PLH in Medicaid and Medicare claims data that use HIV specific diagnosis codes and related treatment indicators. This study used machine learning tools to improve upon existing HIV-identification algorithms by using diagnosis codes and other variables that are present across four years of Medicaid (Medi-Cal) and Medicare claims data in a subset of the claims data from Californians. The goals of this project were to: 1) To use machine learning tools to develop a predictive algorithm for HIV positive or negative serostatus using Medicaid and Medicare claims data; and 2) to develop guidelines for using our predictive algorithms based on the amount of claims data that is available and the level of certainty that can be expected in predicting HIV positive serostatus.
“PAREDES: A Partner-Based Approach to HIV/STI Case Detection for Latino MSM.”
Dr. Jesse Lawton Clark
The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the cognitive processes, interpersonal interactions, and partnership/network structures guiding partner notification attitudes, beliefs, and practices among Latino MSM in Los Angeles. This pilot assessment of a comprehensive partner notification instrument aimed to address the complex intersection of partners (parejas), networks (redes), and barriers (walls or paredes), or PAREDES, that define partner notification and treatment among Latino MSM.
“Cost-Effectiveness of a Financial Incentive Program to Reduce HIV/STIs in MSM.”
Dr. Laura Jane Anderson
This study investigated the effectiveness and cost-implications of a monetary incentive-based program targeting HIV and STI testing and treatment among high-risk men who have sex with men (MSM) at a community-based clinic in Los Angeles. Specifically, this project evaluated the clinical and behavioral impact of a monetary incentive-based STI and HIV testing program to reduce HIV/STI positively an increase testing among MSM. Additionally, this study evaluated the cost effectiveness of a monetary incentive-based program to reduce HIV/STI positivity and increase testing among MSM.
“Adapting and Evaluating an HIV Intervention for Delivery via Mobile Phones.”
Dr. Tiffany Monique Montgomery and Deborah Koniak-Griffin
The objective of this study is to adapt and implement a text message version of Sister to Sister, an evidence-based high-risk sexual behavior intervention, for use among young adult Black women. In the first phase of this pilot study, a research advisory board composed of eight young adult Black women reviewed the original Sister to Sister curriculum and created text messages to be delivered via mobile phone. An evaluation of the acceptability, feasibility and outcomes of the S2S was conducted in the second phase.
“Role of Race and Discrimination in Adherence to HIV Care Among African Americans.”
Dr. Shu Farmer, Dr. Risa Hoffman, Dr. Deborah Mindry, and Dr. Glenn Wagner
This study examined how racism and discrimination influence health decision-making behaviors and antiretroviral adherence in HIV-infected African Americans. The aims of this study were to describe the role of perceived racism and discrimination among HIV-infected African Americans with regard to their experiences with engagement in HIV care and to explore the role of perceived racism and discrimination with regard to non-adherence to ART among HIV-infected African Americans’ with viral loads > 200 copies/ml twice in the last year or 2 or more missed clinic appointments in the last year. The purpose of this study was to better understand how fear of stigma acts as a barrier to HIV testing, engagement in care, and treatment adherence among African Americans.