2024 National EHE Meeting Recap – April 16, 2024

CHIPTS was honored to host the 3rd National Ending the HIV Epidemic Partnerships for Research Meeting in partnership with the UCLA-CDU Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) on April 15-16, 2024, at the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center. The 2024 National EHE Meeting welcomed over 300 inspiring scientists, federal agency representatives, and community and public health partners to explore opportunities to advance high-impact HIV implementation research and practice.

 

Find highlights and resources from Tuesday, April 16, 2024 (Day Two) of the 2024 National EHE Meeting below. A recap of Monday, April 15, 2024 (Day One) is available here

Visit the meeting webpage for additional materials and resources – photo gallery, recordings and more

2024 National EHE Meeting Recap – Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Judith Currier, MD, Co-Director of the UCLA-CDU CFAR, opened Day Two of the 2024 National EHE Meeting with her welcoming remarks and emphasized the need to break down silos across funding sources to end the HIV epidemic. Francisco Ruiz, MS, the newly appointed Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, shared his vision for his tenure focused on increasing community engagement and investment in mobilizing resources.

Two sets of invigorating panel sessions followed. Kenneth Sherr, PhD, Director of the UW/FH CFAR Implementation Science Hub, moderated a strategy panel session focused on partnering with public health departments across the care continuum. The second panel session, titled Moving Research to Practice: Community, Agency, and Implementing Partner Perspectives, was moderated by Linda Koenig, PhD, Senior Advisor in CDC’s Division of HIV Prevention.

Next, Sheree Schwartz, PhD, MPH, Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins CFAR MACC+ Implementation Science Hub, presented on the potential for multi-site work to generate generalizable knowledge to end the HIV epidemic. She discussed the activities of the Network for Implementation Science in HIV (NISH) and highlighted the value of data harmonization and collaboration in implementation research. The UCLA-CDU CFAR Community Advisory Board rounded out the morning with a presentation and panel discussion on the need to engage community voices in research and the important impact they have made on research and dissemination efforts.

The afternoon included breakout sessions focused on how to optimize the strategies highlighted during the morning sessions, how to move EHE supplement projects to the next stage of research, and how to meaningfully apply dissemination and implementation science theories, models, and frameworks.

The program ended with summaries from the breakout session discussions on optimizing key strategies for research-community partnerships to end the HIV epidemic. LT Alberto Pina, MPH, OIDP Engagement Team Region IX Director with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, provided a call to action and closing remarks for the meeting. He emphasized the critical role of implementation science and efforts to translate research to practice as we work together to end the HIV epidemic.

The Day Two agenda and links to corresponding slide sets are shared below. To access the photo galleries and videos of the presentations, click here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

  • 8:00AM: Registration and Breakfast
  • 9:00AM: Welcome and Recap of Day One
    • Judith Currier, MD, UCLA-CDU CFAR
    • Francisco Ruiz, MS, White House ONAP
  • 9:10AM: Strategy #3 Panel: Partnering with Public Health Departments Across the Care Continuum
    • Moderator: Kenneth Sherr, PhD, University of Washington Implementation Science Hub
  • 10:20AM: Moving Research to Practice: Community, Agency, and Implementing Partner Perspectives
    • Discussants: Linda Koenig, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Pamela Klein, PhD, HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau
  • 1:15PM: Breakout Sessions
    • Strategy #3 Breakout: Partnering with Public Health Departments Across the Care Continuum 
      • Moderators: Kenneth Sherr, PhD, University of Washington Implementation Science Hub, and Natalie Cramer, MS, NASTAD
      • Panelists: Stephen Bonett, PhD, NP, Susanne Doblecki-Lewis, MD, Raphael Landovitz, MD, MSc, Wendy Garland, MPH
    • Moving Research to Practice: Community, Agency, and Implementing Partner Perspectives 
      • Moderator: Linda Koenig, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
      • Panelists: Reva Datar, PhD, MPH, Mario Perez, MPH, LeRoy Blea, MPH
  • 3:00PM: Meeting Adjourned

 

A recap of Day One is available here: https://chipts.ucla.edu/news/2024-national-ehe-meeting-recap-day-one/

2024 National EHE Meeting Recap – April 15, 2024

CHIPTS and the UCLA-CDU Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) were honored to co-host the 3rd National Ending the HIV Epidemic Partnerships for Research Meeting on April 15-16, 2024, at the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center. The meeting welcomed over 300 participants from the CFAR/ARC Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) supplement project teams funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), federal agencies, and community and public health partners to explore opportunities to advance high-impact HIV implementation research and practice.

The 2024 National EHE Meeting theme was: Accelerating Innovations for Equitable Reach and Uptake of HIV Services. Grounded in this theme, the meeting aimed to:

  • Facilitate the dissemination of innovative implementation strategies and generalizable findings from the EHE supplement projects.
  • Promote best practices for research-community partnerships in HIV implementation research.
  • Offer opportunities for networking and exploring new collaborations to accelerate progress towards ending the HIV epidemic.

 

Find highlights and resources from Monday, April 15, 2024 (Day One) of the 2024 National EHE Meeting below.

Recap of Tuesday, April 16, 2024 (Day Two) is available here.

Visit the meeting webpage for additional materials and resources – photo gallery, recordings and more

 2024 National EHE Meeting Recap – Monday, April 15, 2024

The 2024 National EHE Meeting began with opening remarks from CHIPTS, the UCLA CDU-CFAR, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), recognizing the partners that made this meeting possible and the diverse range of participants from 34 EHE jurisdictions and 49 counties who had convened to advance high-impact HIV implementation research and practice. CDR Michelle Sandoval-Rosario, DrPH, MPH, OIDP Engagement Team Region IX Director with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, provided an overview and discussed future directions of the EHE initiative, emphasizing the importance of working with non-traditional partners and aiming to address syndemics to better help disproportionately impacted communities. Then, representatives of key federal agencies and local partners highlighted their unique and collective roles in the EHE initiative during the Partnerships in Research: Our Roles in Ending the HIV Epidemic panel session.

The keynote address for the 2024 National EHE Meeting was given by Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, PhD, MPH, LCSW, ANP-BC, PMHNP-BC, FAAN, Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Solutions at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. His insightful address, titled Is the USA on track to end the HIV epidemic?, explored the impact of the EHE initiative since its launch in 2019 and offered recommendations for accelerating progress towards ending the HIV epidemic, including increasing the diversity of the workforce and reducing regulatory barriers. Following the keynote address, CHIPTS Director Steve Shoptaw, PhD, moderated a panel discussion with Guilamo-Ramos and the members of the Partnerships in Research: Our Roles in Ending the HIV Epidemic panel.

Brian Mustanski, PhD, Co-Director of the Implementation Science Coordination Initiative (ISCI) with the Third Coast CFAR at Northwestern University shared an overview of the progress made by the CFAR/ARC Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) supplement projects, and captured ISCI’s efforts to generate and disseminate generalizable knowledge from the projects.

The program continued with two strategy panel sessions that included exciting presentations from various EHE supplement projects. The first session centered on successful outreach strategies to empower communities and was moderated by Robin Lanzi, PhD, MPH, MPI of the University of Alabama at Birmingham CFAR Implementation Science Hub. In the afternoon, Borsika Rabin, PhD, PharmD, MPH, Co-Director of the San Diego CFAR Implementation Science Hub moderated the second strategy panel session on lowering barriers to care through community engagement.

Following the strategy panel sessions, participants were invited to engage in impactful breakout room discussions on how to optimize the strategies discussed, tackle tough questions in implementation science, and find relevant tools to support their HIV implementation research and practice activities.

Nina Harawa, PhD, MPH, Director of the CHIPTS Policy Impact Core and faculty at the UCLA-CDU CFAR, closed the afternoon by highlighting the critical conversations from Day One and emphasizing the need to center community voices and ensure reciprocity in academic-community partnerships.

The Day One agenda and links to corresponding slide sets are shared below. To access the photo galleries and videos of the presentations, click here.

Monday, April 15, 2024

  • 8:00 AM: Registration and Breakfast
  • 9:00 AM: Welcome, Purpose, and Theme
    • Steve Shoptaw, PhD, UCLA CHIPTS
    • LaShonda Spencer, MD, UCLA-CDU CFAR
    • Rebecca Mandt, PhD, Division of AIDS, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
    • Chris Gordon, PhD, Division of AIDS Research, National Institute of Mental Health
  • 9:20AM: Overview and Future Directions of EHE Initiative
    • CDR Michelle Sandoval-Rosario, DrPH, MPH, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • 9:30AM: Partnerships in Research: Our Roles in Ending the HIV Epidemic
    • Jazzmun Crayton, APAIT and City of Los Angeles’ Trans Advisory Council
    • Mary Glenshaw, PhD, MPH, NIH Office of AIDS Research
    • Paul Weidle, PharmD, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Pamela Klein, PhD, Health Resources and Services Administration
    • Kristin Roha, MS, MPH, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
    • Rick Haverkate, MPH, Indian Health Service
    • Mario Perez, MPH, Division of HIV and STD Programs, County of Los Angeles
  • 10:10AM: Keynote Address – Is the USA on Track to End the HIV Epidemic?
    • Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, PhD, MPH, LCSW, ANP-BC, PMHNP-BC, FAAN, Johns Hopkins University
    • Moderated Discussion
      • Moderator: Steve Shoptaw, PhD, UCLA CHIPTS
      • Panelists: Jazzmun Crayton, Mary Glenshaw, PhD, MPH , Paul Weidle, PharmD, MPH, Pamela Klein, PhD, Kristin Roha, MS, MPH, Rick Haverkate, MPH, Mario Perez, MPH
  • 11:25AM: Strategy #1 Panel: Successful Outreach Strategies to Empower Communities
    • Moderator: Robin Lanzi, PhD, MPH, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Implementation Science Hub
  • 1:30PM: Strategy #2 Panel: Lowering Barriers to Care through Community Engagement
    • Moderator: Borsika Rabin, PhD, PharmD, MPH, San Diego CFAR Implementation Science Hub
  • 2:45PM : Breakout Sessions
    • Strategy #1 Breakout: Successful Outreach Strategies to Empower Communities 
      • Moderators: Debbie Humphries, PhD, R3EDI Hub, Yale CFAR, and Robin Lanzi, PhD, MPH, UAB Implementation Science Hub
        Panelists: Sannisha Dale, PhD, Glenn Hayward Stepherson, Jessica Sales, PhD, Kathryn Macapagal, PhD, Jim Pickett
    • Strategy #2 Breakout: Lowering Barriers to Care through Community Engagement 
      • Moderator: Borsika Rabin, PhD, PharmD, MPH, San Diego CFAR Implementation Science Hub
        Panelists: Mariano Kanamori, PhD, Stephen Fallon, PhD, Lynn Matthews, MD, MPH, and DeAndra Tuyishime, MAEd, CHES, RPCV, Jeannette Webb
    • Thorny Questions in Implementation Science: What You Want to Ask but Don’t Ask 
      • Moderator: Alison Hamilton, PhD, MPH, UCLA CHIPTS Implementation Science Hub
        Panelists: Prajakta Adsul, MBBS, PhD, MPH, Ana Baumann, PhD, Erin Finley, PhD, MPH
    • ISCI and Hub Tools, Support, and Collaboration to Support Your Success – Enlightenment Room
      • Moderator: Brian Mustanski, PhD, and hosted by ISCI/Third Coast CFAR
  • 3:45PM: Closing Remarks and Day One Adjourn
    • Nina Harawa, PhD, UCLA CHIPTS and UCLA-CDU CFAR
  • 4:15PM: Listening Session to Inform the FY26-30 NIH Strategic Plan for HIV and HIV-Related Research 
    • Moderated by CAPT Mary Glenshaw, PhD, MPH, and Amber Wilson, MPH
    • Hosted by the NIH Office of AIDS Research
  • 5:30PM: Networking Reception

 

A recap of Day Two is available here: https://chipts.ucla.edu/news/2024-national-ehe-meeting-recap-day-two/ 

Welcome, Francisco Ruiz, ONAP’s New Director – A Message from Kaye Hayes

This content originally appeared on HIV.gov. View the full article here.

We are already more than 100 days into 2024, and I’m reminded that we must continue pushing forward while keeping our foot on the pedal to ensure our HIV response builds on our successes and continues to work to address unmet needs and emerging challenges. To assist with these efforts, the White House has appointed a new director to lead the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), and I am honored to welcome Francisco Ruiz to this position.

He takes the helm as the first Latino to serve in this role and as an individual whose history and lived experience demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to equity across the diverse communities impacted by HIV. As the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Infectious Disease and the Director of the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP), I am looking forward to working with Francisco and ONAP to advance the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative as we continue to approach our efforts through a syndemic lens that recognizes the overlapping health conditions of HIV, substance use, mental health, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections, particularly the crisis of syphilis and congenital syphilis, and the social and structural factors that give rise to them.

The enthusiasm for this announcement extends to ADM Rachel Levine, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who shares, “I am pleased to welcome Francisco Ruiz to the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. Francisco brings a wealth of knowledge and experiences vital to shaping the implementation of the Biden Administration’s priorities, from the NHAS to our collective efforts to reduce HIV-related inequities and address stigma and discrimination. I look forward to working with him in support of President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2025 Budget request for HIV programs, including a mandatory Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Delivery Program.”

Commitment to Coordination and Community Engagement

Francisco has worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 2013. In his former role as the Senior Advisor for Program Innovation and Coordination within the Division of HIV Prevention, he played an integral role in shaping and advancing programs and partnerships across the Division’s ten branches and six offices. Additionally, he advanced the agency’s engagement with community partners, ensuring that impacted populations were part of message development and the creation of new initiatives. Before joining the federal government, he worked at NASTAD (National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors), collaborating extensively with health departments to address the impact of HIV among key populations, including Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and LGBTQ+ communities. His focus on engaging and working with diverse communities, his experience working in public health, and his commitment to addressing health disparities and inequities will continue to be of great benefit to the HIV service community and those who continue to work toward ending the HIV epidemic.

I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Francisco on this well-deserved appointment. My office and I, along with many others committed to ending the HIV epidemic, are excited and look forward to our future collaboration.

Learn More

We encourage you to read a recent blog available in English and Spanish about Francisco’s appointment by Neera Tanden, Chair of the Domestic Policy Council and Domestic Policy Advisor to the President, The White House.

HIV Funding in President Biden’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2025 Budget

This content originally appeared on HIV.gov. View the full article here.

On March 11, 2024, the White House released President Joe Biden’s Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) Federal Budget, which includes important investments in HIV. The investments total more than $7.7 billion and include increases in funding for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, the Indian Health Service (IHS), and the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program. The Budget also proposes new programs and funding for HIV PrEP and the modernization of state HIV criminalization statutes. Learn more on HIV.gov’s Federal HIV Budget page.

“This budget lays out a vision for a nation that invests in all aspects of health, fosters innovation, and supports its most vulnerable. This budget continues our shift from a nation focused on illness to one that promotes wellness,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.” Read more about the funding proposed for HHS in the FY25 HHS Budget in Brief.

Nearly $600 Million Requested for EHE Initiative

President Biden’s FY25 Budget requests $593 million in funding across CDC, HRSA, IHS, and NIH to support continued scale-up and implementation of the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative. This represents a $20 million increase over the FY23 enacted funding level, with increases proposed for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and the Indian Health Service. The specific funding amounts proposed by agency are:

  • $220 million for CDC
  • $332 million for HRSA
    • $175 million to deliver HIV care through HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program
    • $157 million to provide HIV testing, linkage to care, and prescription of HIV PrEP and associated medical costs through HRSA’s Health Center Program
  • $15 million to IHS for an initiative to treat or reduce the transmission of HIV and HCV
  • $26 million for NIH for implementation research projects in the EHE jurisdictions

“The proposed funding included in this budget to continue the EHE initiative’s HIV testing, prevention, and care and treatment services will support continued innovation and tailored service delivery in the communities most affected, moving us closer to our goal of ending the HIV epidemic,” observed CAPT John Oguntomilade, PhD, EHE Coordination Lead in the HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy.

Read more on HIV.gov’s EHE Funding page.

Core HIV Funding and New HIV Proposals

In addition to the EHE funding, the President’s FY25 Budget proposes continued funding for core HIV programs and services administered by CDC and HRSA, and HIV research across NIH. It also proposes new HIV programs:

  • PrEP Services: The FY25 Budget eliminates barriers to accessing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for Medicaid beneficiaries and proposes a new mandatory program to guarantee PrEP at no cost for all uninsured and underinsured individuals and provide essential wrap-around services with initial year funding of $213 million.
  • Modernizing State HIV Criminal Statutes: The FY25 Budget invests in State and local efforts to promote equity and protect civil rights through a new $10 million Department of Justice grant program to support modernization of outdated state criminal statutes with a discriminatory impact on HIV-positive individuals.

Funding for Programs Also Supports Syndemic Response

The President’s FY25 Budget also includes investments that can support addressing the syndemic of HIV, viral hepatitis, STIs, substance use disorder, and mental health. For example, the Budget proposes a national program to significantly expand screening, testing, treatment, prevention, and monitoring of hepatitis C infections in the United States, with a specific focus on populations with high infection levels. The budget also proposes increases in the SAMHSA-administered Community Mental Health Services Block Grant as well as in mental health research at NIH to support better diagnostics, improved treatments, and enhanced precision of care for mental health. While not specifically focused on HIV, investments in these programs can have a positive impact on the overall health and well-being of people with and experiencing risk for HIV.

Spotlight on CHIPTS Policy Impact Core

The purpose of the Policy Impact Core is to translate CHIPTS research findings into impacts on policy or actionable impacts on policy. In our communities, there remain significant gaps between our targeted efforts around HIV, substance use and mental health and the outcomes. These gaps can be due to systemic inequities linked with these comorbidities. Barriers to healthcare access, including inadequate healthcare coverage, are just the first of many factors. Criminalization, discrimination, poverty, and houselessness affect the lived experiences of those most affected by HIV, and leveraging CHIPTS research to inform policies that target these systemic inequities is our goal. Recently our efforts have centered on the effects of criminalization and poverty on individuals at risk of HIV, as well as policies supporting innovative solutions to facilitate their access to health services.

Check out our snapshot below!

On criminalization, our policy brief, Services for Re-Entry Populations: Policy Evidence and Recommendations, we outline opportunities to address intertwining epidemics through identifying the needs of incarcerated populations during re-entry. In Health Outcomes Associated with Criminalization and Regulation of Sex Trade, we focus on the public health effects of implementing four different frameworks to addressing sex trade, including criminalization, the Nordic or End Demand model, regulating sex trade and decriminalization.

On poverty, we illustrate recent findings with an infographic, HIV Risk Reduction and Earned Income Tax Credit, which identifies how anti-poverty policy solutions can have a very real (and positive!) impact on HIV risk reduction.

On facilitating health access, we cover topics addressed in by recent legislation. Efforts to increase access to HIV, STI and substance use services include Zero-Cost Preventive Care for Californians and Extended Coverage for STI Screenings and Contingency Management strategies. We highlight basic concepts behind an oft-used term, Medical Mistrust.

To promote greater understanding of biomedical innovations and how they might be implemented in communities, we documented key findings from the HPTN 083 study and what we know about the safety and efficacy of injectable PrEP.  Our Executive Summary, Long-Acting Injectable Therapy for People with HIV, delivers key takeaways from our paper identifying lessons about long-acting injectable treatment in the substance use and mental health fields, two specialties with long histories of utilizing injectable medication. Our Associate Director Dr. Gabriel Edwards penned an article (en español) for lay audiences, summarizing the promise and challenge of injectable medication for HIV treatment and prevention.

As always, please visit the UCLA CHIPTS website for more resources and if you have any suggestions for future topics, please contact us!

Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2024

On March 10, CHIPTS will honor Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD), a day dedicated to highlighting the impact of HIV on women and girls and showing our support for those living with HIV. In honor of NWGHAAD, CHIPTS Community Advisory Board member and recently appointed Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) member Natalie Sanchez, MPH, shares a reflection on the impact of HIV among women and girls and her work to uplift and address their needs.

March 10th marks Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a critical reminder of the ongoing battle against HIV/AIDS among women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2021, women accounted for 18% of new HIV diagnoses in the United States. Specifically, Los Angeles County witnessed 162 new HIV infections among women that year. HIV was primarily transmitted through heterosexual contact (67%), though injection drug use was the transmission route for 33% of new infections — an alarming trend on the rise.

One of the foremost barriers in combating HIV among cisgender women is that HIV prevention and treatment strategies largely target cisgender men and transgender women. This fosters a dangerous misconception, both within the healthcare system and among cisgender women, that HIV does not concern women’s health. Such misunderstandings significantly heighten women’s vulnerability to HIV. Compounded with cultural norms, gender roles, stigma, and discrimination, women and girls are often discouraged from undergoing HIV testing or seeking PrEP for HIV prevention.

As Director of the UCLA Los Angeles Family AIDS Network (LAFAN), my aim has been to cultivate a supportive community for women living with HIV, ensuring they never feel isolated. We strive to create an environment that bolsters self-worth and encourages women to acknowledge and prioritize their health, including consistent HIV medical care. We also create space for family events, understanding that a first step for engaging women often requires engaging the family. We work with them to ensure they know that there is space for family, but just as important, that there is space for themselves. Tackling gender health disparities necessitates confronting the root social and economic inequalities. Only through such holistic approaches can we aspire to make substantial strides in the HIV fight for all impacted groups.

Our innovative bilingual docuseries podcast, Confessions: HIV+ Women, is a testament to these efforts. Developed in partnership with the LA Women’s HIV Task Force and Women Together, the podcast aims to amplify the voices and stories of women living with HIV, enhancing their visibility both online and publicly. Launched on National Latinx HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in 2023, it serves as a potent tool for cultural engagement by sharing Latina women’s experiences, covering topics like shame, stigma, and resilience. The podcast has offered participants a transformative experience —helping them evolve from feeling weighed down by their diagnosis to embracing a new, empowered identity.

In recognition of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we are excited to announce the release of Season 2 of the Confessions podcast, which will spotlight the stories of Black women with HIV. This is crucial, as Black/African American women face a disproportionately high risk of dying from HIV infection compared to their white counterparts. The podcast also addresses the impacts of racism, discrimination, and mistrust in the healthcare system.

Traditional support groups have been a cornerstone of UCLA LAFAN for providing social and emotional support to women living with HIV. However, barriers such as group availability, transportation, confidentiality concerns, and stigma prevent many from accessing these resources. Our podcast offers an alternative support mechanism, fostering empowerment and connection among women and ensuring they never feel alone. We are committed to expanding our efforts in engaging women and girls in HIV prevention and treatment, continually seeking innovative ways to support and uplift them.

HIV Is Not A Crime Awareness Day 2024

February 28, 2024 — Today marks the third annual HIV is Not a Crime Awareness Day. The Sero Project, in collaboration with the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, first observed this day in 2022 to spread awareness about outdated HIV-related laws and invite communities to unite against HIV criminalization. This year’s HIV is Not a Crime Awareness Day theme is “You care about ending HIV criminalization. You just don’t know it yet.” 

In honor of HIV is Not a Crime Awareness Day, we are highlighting a valuable discussion between CHIPTS Policy Core Co-Director Ayako Miyashita Ochoa, JD, and Nathan Cisneros, HIV Criminalization Analyst at the UCLA Williams Institute. As part of this discussion, Nathan shared his reflections on the awareness day and insights from his work analyzing HIV criminalization trends across the U.S. Read here.

To learn more about HIV is Not a Crime Awareness Day and how to get involved, check out the important information and resources below, provided by HIV.gov:

Why Is It So Hard to Get People Housed in Los Angeles County? Series Recap

The CHIPTS Combination Prevention Core recently hosted a three-session virtual series titled “Why Is It So Hard to Get People Housed in Los Angeles County?” to address the housing crisis and its intersection with the HIV epidemic in Los Angeles (LA) County. Throughout the series, expert panelists were invited to share insights and engage participants in discussion on the current housing climate in LA County, harm reduction services, and housing policies that impact the unhoused.

The Combination Prevention Core aimed to feature a diverse set of panelists who represented government, community-based organization, and service provider perspectives to introduce different approaches, policies, and practices related to housing. Across the three sessions, 10 expert panelists and approximately 350 attendees participated, including social services providers, HIV providers, mental health and substance use providers, academic researchers, and others interested in addressing housing in LA County. Learn more about each session and access the session recordings below.

Session 1: November 17, 2022 – Specific Challenges for Those Living with HIV and/or Substance Use and/or Mental Health Disorders

The objectives of this session were to: 1) provide an overview of the current housing system in LA County, (2) understand the challenges that exacerbate the housing crisis particularly among individuals living with HIV and/or substance use and/or mental health disorders, and (3) examine opportunities and current best practices for addressing the housing crisis.

Featured panelists included:

  • Adam Murray, MA, JD, Chief Executive Officer, Inner City Law Center
  • Stacie Washington, MA, MFT, Program Director, The Salvation Army-California South Division
  • Victor Hinderliter, Director of Street Based Engagement and Mobile Clinics, Housing for Health / Rancho Los Amigos, LA County Department of Health Services

View recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4PUSXEztOk

 

Session 2: June 14, 2023 – Exploring Harm Reduction Strategies for Those Experiencing Homelessness and Living with HIV and/or Substance Use and/or Mental Health Disorders

The objectives of this session were to: (1) provide an overview of the current harm reduction services in Los Angeles County, (2) better understand the challenges of those experiencing homelessness and living with HIV and/or substance use and/or mental health disorders, and (3) share best practices and innovative harm reduction service delivery options and opportunities for implementation.

Featured panelists included:

  • Elham Jalayer, BS, Harm Reduction Program Manager, Bienestar Human Services
  • Ricky Rosales, AIDS Coordinator, City of Los Angeles Department on Disability
  • Soma Snakeoil, Executive Director/Cofounder, The Sidewalk Project

View recording: https://youtu.be/ncT1JGRFcEc   

 

Session 3: February 7, 2024 – Innovative Housing Policies and Best Practices

The objectives of this session were to: (1) provide an overview of the current housing policies in Los Angeles County and other cities, (2) understand the major policy obstacles to getting people housed, and (3) share innovative policy changes that have improved access to housing and highlight best practices from various jurisdictions.

Featured panelists included:

  • Aileen Reynolds, BS, Assistant Commissioner of Housing Opportunity, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development
  • Annetta Wells, BA, Senior Director, Inside Safe, Los Angeles Mayor’s Office
  • Jane Hamilton, PhD, MPH, LCSW-S, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, McGovern Medical School
  • Lisa Daugaard, JD, Co-Executive Director, Purpose Dignity Action (PDA)

View recording: https://youtu.be/rM_U32t_6yg  

Seeking Input on the Next NIH Strategic Plan for HIV and HIV-Related Research

This content originally appeared on NIH OAR. View the full article here.

The NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR) leads the effort across NIH to establish HIV research priorities and develop the NIH Strategic Plan for HIV and HIV-Related Research. This plan guides the largest public investment in HIV research, building on scientific progress and opportunities for advancing research to end to the HIV pandemic.

As part of the process, OAR seeks input from all interested constituents, including, but not limited to, researchers, health care professionals, advocates and health advocacy organizations, scientific or professional organizations, public health officials, government agencies, and community members.

OAR has issued a Request for Information (RFI) as one source of input to inform development of the FY 2026‒2030 NIH Strategic Plan for HIV and HIV-Related Research. 

OAR plans to adopt a new framework for the next plan that consists of four strategic goals:

  • Enhance discovery and advance HIV science through fundamental research.
  • Advance the development and assessment of novel interventions for HIV prevention, treatment, and cure.
  • Optimize public health impact of HIV discoveries through translation, dissemination, and implementation of research findings.
  • Build research workforce and infrastructure capacity to enhance sustainability of HIV scientific discovery.

Respondents are invited to propose research priorities within each goal and provide additional feedback on the new framework.

Click here to view additional details, and submit your feedback until March 28, 2024.

2024 HIV Next Generation Conference Recap

The 2024 CHIPTS HIV Next Generation Conference welcomed over 130 attendees from academic institutions, community-based organizations, health care institutions, and other organizations working to end the HIV epidemic at the UCLA Covel Commons on Friday, January 26, 2024. The conference included engaging oral and poster presentations, discussions, and networking opportunities to support the next generation of HIV researchers and service providers.

CHIPTS Development Core Co-Director Dallas Swendeman, PhD, MPH, facilitated this year’s conference and provided a warm welcome to participants. CHIPTS Director Steve Shoptaw, PhD, then shared opening remarks to lay the foundation for an exciting conference, echoing the conference theme by highlighting the importance of developing and scaling up innovative interventions to prevent HIV. Abenaa Jones, PhD, assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University, offered an engaging and insightful opening plenary that explored the syndemic of substance use, HIV, and violence among women involved in the criminal justice system. As part of her presentation, Dr. Jones discussed the development of an all-female, trauma-informed intervention to reduce the incidence and adverse effects of these syndemic issues.

Throughout the day, there were three sets of oral presentations with panel discussions. The first set was moderated by CHIPTS Policy Impact Core Director Nina Harawa, PhD, MPH, and centered on social determinants and HIV. The second set of oral presentations was moderated by CHIPTS Combination Prevention Core Scientist Jesse Clark, MD, and focused on HIV and other health needs. CHIPTS Combination Prevention Core Scientist Ron Brooks, PhD, moderated the last set focused on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) implementation. The conference also featured a fantastic group of poster presentations highlighting innovative research and evaluation projects to support efforts to end the HIV epidemic.

CHIPTS Development Core Director Norweeta Milburn, PhD, presented the 2024 William E. Cunningham Scholar Award to Danielle Campbell, MPH, a dedicated community organizer and accomplished doctoral student at UC San Diego. Best innovative oral and poster awards were presented to the projects, The Chicago Study for HIV Prevention in Psychiatry: A Mixed-Methods Investigation of Knowledge, Perceived Barriers to Implementation, and Training Needs to Support Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Prescription by Psychiatrists, and the Pilot Results of Sibling-based Intervention to Promote PrEP to Latinx Sexual Minority Men (poster 3) respectively. To close the conference, Dr. Milburn offered congratulations to the tremendous presenters this year and encouraged participants to continue their commitment to new ideas and collaborations as we work together to end the HIV epidemic.

A complete list of oral presentations, slides, and photo highlights from the conference are provided below.

Check out our photo gallery of the conference on our Facebook page: http://tinyurl.com/24n6cce9 

Opening Plenary:

Abenaa A. Jones, PhD, Ann Atherton Hertzler Early Career Professor in Health and Human Development, Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Presentation Title: Developing Comprehensive Interventions to Address the Syndemic of HIV, Substance Use Disorders, and Violence Among Women Involved in the Criminal Justice System

Presentation Summary: Substance use, HIV and associated risk behaviors, and experiences of violence are prevalent and often inextricably linked among women who use drugs, particularly those involved in the criminal justice system. The presentation will explore the syndemic of substance use, HIV, and violence, along with the development of an all-female and trauma-informed intervention to reduce the incidence and adverse effects of these syndemic issues.

 

Oral Panel 1 – Social Determinants and HIV:

1. Toluwani Adekunle, PhD, Assistant Professor of Public Health, Calvin University (2nd from left)

Presentation Title: A qualitative study of Black and Latine HIV care consumers’ perceptions of providers’ behaviors, medical mistrust, and experiences of discrimination

Presentation Summary: The presentation highlights the experiences of Black and Latine HIV care consumers that foster medical mistrust. These are experiences as pertaining to care consumers’ perceptions of healthcare provider behaviors that invoked feelings of stigma/discrimination, thereby influencing care consumers’ levels of trust and mistrust.

2. Taj Morgan, MPH, Amp Program Manager, Sentient Research (3rd from left)

Presentation Title: Amp: Developing a mobile app using human-centered design to improve the health and well-being of young Black men living with HIV

Presentation Summary: This presentation will describe how we used human-centered design to develop an innovative mobile app to improve HIV care continuum outcomes and overall well-being among young Black gay and bisexual men living with HIV. This process, which involved co-creating the app with end users and HIV service providers, resulted in a program with high feasibility, acceptability, and likely uptake.

3. Lauren Mungo, BS, Pre-Medical Student, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles (4th from left)

Presentation Title: Exploring self-management strategies among young adults with recent criminal justice experience to improve ART adherence

Presentation Summary: This presentation will discuss a qualitative analysis within the LINK2 study intervention trial regarding the various barriers preventing ART adherence in a population of young adults who have recent criminal justice experience. It will evaluate the effects of self-management strategies in alleviating the daily barriers participants face in taking their medication and its role in fostering positive behaviors that assist in increasing adherence.

 

Oral Panel 2 – HIV and Other Health Needs:

1. Izzy Chiu, BA, Graduate Student, UCLA Department of Epidemiology and Center for Public Health Research, San Francisco Department of Public Health (2nd from left)

Presentation Title: HIV and hepatitis C virus infection and co-infection among trans women in San Francisco, 2020

Presentation Summary: Trans women experience a high burden of HIV and are at high risk for hepatitis C virus (HCV). The interaction between these two diseases and the behavioral risks for HIV/HCV co-infection among trans women are understudied. We present the results of an analysis of HIV and HCV serological and behavioral data collected among trans women in San Francisco from 2019 to 2020 as part of the CDC’s first National HIV Behavioral Surveillance survey for trans women.

2. Khadesia Howell, MPH, MPhil, Graduate Student, RAND Corporation and APLA Health (3rd from left)

Presentation Title: A ‘Think Aloud’ Qualitative Study to Understand Intersectional Stigma and Discrimination Among Black Sexual Minority Men (SMM)

Presentation Summary: This study’s aim is to better understand intersectional stigma and discrimination and its effects on mental health, as well as to improve intersectional stigma assessment tools. It is a qualitative study executed by doing in-depth semi-structured interviews as a way for Black SMM to ‘think aloud’ and tell their stories and experiences. From this we were able to better understand how this marginalized group responds to stigma and discrimination and how they interact with intersectional stigma assessment tools.

3. Lynn Nguyen, BA, Medical Student, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences (4th from left)

Presentation Title: Unraveling Reproductive and Maternal Health Challenges of Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Vietnam: A Qualitative Study

Presentation Summary: Women living with HIV/AIDS (WLHA) have the additional and unique need to seek sexual and reproductive health services. WLHA’s maternal health journeys can be shaped by the cultural norms and resources that exist in their society. This study sought to understand if and how WLHA’s family planning, pregnancy, and motherhood experiences could be influenced by the patriarchal culture, gender roles, and HIV stigma in Vietnam, specifically.

 

Oral Panel 3 – PrEP Implementation:

1. Mark Erwin, BA, Director – Strategy, Center for Health Empowerment

Presentation Title: Comparing PrEP retention and prevalent inequities among in clinic and telehealth modalities in Texas

Presentation Summary: Telehealth is often touted as a solution to overcome several PrEP barriers. We explore how PrEP retention compared for clients who accessed it via Telehealth versus In clinic clients. Further, we examined inequities in each group and then compared those inequities with each other.

2. Samuel Bunting, MD, Resident Physician, University of Chicago, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience

Presentation Title: The Chicago Study for HIV Prevention in Psychiatry: A Mixed-Methods Investigation of Knowledge, Perceived Barriers to Implementation, and Training Needs to Support Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Prescription by Psychiatrists

Presentation Summary: Patients living with mental illnesses experience disproportionately high HIV incidence and prevalence, while simultaneously experiencing numerous barriers to care. We conducted a mixed-methods, pilot study of psychiatrists practicing in the EHE priority jurisdictions about integrating PrEP into psychiatric care given the role as primary points of contact with the healthcare system for people with mental illnesses and HIV risk-factors. Psychiatrists practicing in high-HIV incidence areas were largely interested in prescribing PrEP but need additional training with a specific focus on practical management and integration with existing clinical workflows.

3. Naira Setrakian, MPH, PhD Student, UCLA FSPH Department of Epidemiology

Presentation Title: Making the Switch: Impact of changing PrEP regimens on retention among Men who have Sex with Men in Hanoi, Vietnam

Presentation Summary: This presentation will describe patterns of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use and switching between event-driven PrEP and daily PrEP regimens in a population of men who have sex (MSM) in Hanoi, Vietnam. Data from a large PrEP clinic at Hanoi Medical University show that switching PrEP regimens is common and results in longer periods of PrEP use.