2022 CHIPTS HIV Next Generation Conference Resources

The 2022 CHIPTS HIV Next Generation Virtual Conference is this upcoming Friday, January 28, 2022 from 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM.

The conference is VIRTUAL and FREE to attend.

Please REGISTER if you would like to attend. The conference is organized to support the next generation of HIV researchers and service providers who are working towards an end to HIV/AIDS through networking and sharing visions for future priorities. The theme of this year’s conference is “Resilience and Risk: Changing Paradigms.” The conference will feature oral and poster presentations by faculty, student and emerging researchers from various institutions.

CEU credits: Attend the conference, and sign in and out using the form that will be provided to receive credits. The PAETC will follow up post-conference.

The Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center – Los Angeles Area is accredited to provide the following: Continuing LCSW and MFT Education Credit. Courses meet the qualification for a maximum 3.5 hour of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Provider #PCE 128280. Continuing Nursing Education Credit. Course is approved for a maximum of 3.5 contact hour by the California Board of Registered Nursing. Provider #15484.

We invite you to take a look at the poster presentations below which will be featured at the 2022 Next Generation Virtual Conference.

To view a poster, click on the thumbnail to magnify.

Poster Presentation 1


  • Cherie Blair, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Presentation Title: HIV, Methamphetamine Use, and Pulmonary Hypertension: From Blue Skies to an Integrated Research Agenda

Summary: This project was funded by the 2021 CHIPTS Kickstarter Grant. We will present findings from a joint UCLA/CHIPTS and Stanford symposium to develop a collective research agenda to identify and address the overlapping behavioral, biomedical, and social contexts of HIV, methamphetamine use, and pulmonary hypertension















Poster Presentation 2


  • Ekrem Cetinkaya, MS, Medical Student, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Eshani Choksi, BS, Medical Student, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Surayya Miller, MBS, Medical Student, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Nishawn Rahaman, MS, Medical Student, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Krzysztof Zembrzuski, BA, Medical Student, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine

Presentation Title: Risk Factors for HIV Progression Among Males Ages 18-35 in Essex County, New Jersey: A Literature Review

Summary: This presentation summarizes various risk factors that were identified in literature, that affect HIV progression and poor prognosis. We chose the 18-35-year-old male population in Essex County, New Jersey, as we believe that this population specifically faces extensive socioeconomic disadvantages that have contributed to the extremely high prevalence of HIV in this region. We believe that highlighting the risk factors that predispose this population to poorer outcomes is imperative in facilitating change to allocate more resources and attention to individuals in this area.















Poster Presentation 3


  • Homero E. del Pino, PhD, MS, Associate Professor, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and Research Health Scientist, GRECC (Geriatric Research, Education & Clinical Center), VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
  • Petra Durán, BA, Clinical Coordinator, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
  • Angel Martínez, MS, Volunteer, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
  • Edwin Rojas, MPH, Research Assistant, St. John’s Well Child and Family Center

Presentation Title: Engaging the Siblings of Latinx MSM in Promoting PrEP Use

Summary: The siblings of Latinx MSM are an overlooked source of social support in HIV prevention strategies. We will share findings from our community-partnered study that aims to engage siblings in the promotion of PrEP.

















Poster Presentation 4


  • Gabriel G. Edwards, MD, MPH, Assistant Project Scientist, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine & Health Services Research
  • Carolyn Belton, MHHS, AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Presentation Title: Services for Re-Entry Populations: Community-Focused Development of a Policy Brief

Summary: This presentation describes the process of creating a policy brief on community re-entry services for individuals leaving incarceration. The brief was a collaboration between academics and community members, in response to an ongoing initiative to create policy recommendations around alternatives to incarceration in Los Angeles County.














Poster Presentation 5


  • Kevin Frost, Undergraduate Student at University of Southern California, Director of External Affairs at Harm Reduction Los Angeles
  • Sid Ganesh, BA, BS, PhD candidate, Department of Population and Public Health Sciences and the Institute for Prevention Research at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Cofounder and Codirector at Harm Reduction Los Angeles
  • Tucker Avra, DVM, Medical Student, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Cofounder and Codirector at Harm Reduction Los Angeles

Presentation Title: 1st Annual Harm Reduction in Clinical Praxis CME Conference

Summary: Birthed in the HIV epidemic in the US, Harm Reduction is a social justice movement and a framework for resource allocation that centers intersectional communities most impacted by the racist and anti-immigrant War on Drugs. The 1st Annual Harm Reduction in Clinical Praxis CME Conference was hosted by Harm Reduction Los Angeles in conjunction with the USC CME office at Keck School of Medicine on September 25, 2021, with a focus on offering interventional, institutional, and structural tools specific to improving care and outcomes for people who use drugs.
















Poster Presentation 6


  • Caleb Garcia, BS Candidate, Undergraduate Student, HIV Counseling and Testing Coalition at UCLA

Presentation Title: UCLA’s First Annual Sexual Health and Wellness Fair: Building a Healthier, Safer, & More Sex-Positive Campus

Summary: With the gracious support of the CHIPTS Kick Start Grant, the student-run HIV Counseling and Testing Coalition held its’ inaugural Sexual Health and Wellness Fair. The primary goal of the Fair was to administer free HIV tests and provide client-specific risk-reduction counseling to students, staff, and faculty. Our organization also utilized the Fair as an opportunity to re-introduce ourselves to the campus community as a free and confidential testing, counseling, and educational resource after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

















Poster Presentation 7


  • Bill Le, BA, PrEP Education Specialist, APLA Health
  • Ian Klinger, MA, Research Coordinator, APLA Health
  • Matt Mutchler, PhD, Principal Investigator, APLA Health

Presentation Title: Innovative Outreach Strategies for a PrEP study during COVID-19

Summary: The poster presentation will discuss how to increase strategies for outreach and recruitment during the COVID-19 pandemic to support PrEP uptake between YBMSM and their close friends. As time has progressed and mandated shutdowns and “stay at home orders” in Los Angeles County have been lifted or lessened, in-person events have slowly started reappearing. This has led to us developing a new hybrid strategy which we are currently working to employ to reach our target population during these challenging times.

















Poster Presentation 8


  • Charles McWells, BA, HIV Prevention Services Manager, Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Instructor, Community Faculty at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

Presentation Title: Velvet Jesus: An Edu-tainment Model for Behavioral Change Among At-Risk LGBTQ Adults of Color

Summary: “Educational Entertainment” (or “Edu-tainment”) is an evidence-based model that uses film, television, theatre or other forms of performance art to convey health-empowerment messages.  In this project, Black and Latinx LGBTQ adults participated in screenings of a motion picture that focused on homophobia, childhood trauma, mental health disorders, and HIV/AIDS.  Following the screenings, audience members discussed how their shared experiences mirrored the film plot, and developed alternative plot-lines in which the characters made healthier behavioral choices.












Poster Presentation 9


  • Dianna Polanco, BA, Research Coordinator, UCLA Semel Institute Center for Community Health

Presentation Title: Do Chatbots Have a Place in Adolescent HIV Research? A Qualitative Study in Los Angeles and New Orleans

Summary: The purpose of this abstract is to assess usability chatbots in research. Focus groups were held to discuss the pros and cons of using chatbots in research studies.























Poster Presentation 10


  • Rebecca Ruiz, BS, HIV Project Empowerment Trainer, AltaMed Health Services

Presentation Title: Virtual Training Significantly Increases Primary Care Providers’ PrEP Knowledge

Summary: Several studies have shown that a lack of knowledge among primary care providers (PCPs) about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can be a barrier to HIV preventative care; when PCPs increase their knowledge about PrEP, they are more likely to initiate discussions about PrEP and prescribe it to their patients. We developed and conducted trainings among PCPs within a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) to increase provider comfort/willingness with prescribing PrEP.

















Poster Presentation 11


  • Jimena Sandoval, BA, Case Manager, Bienestar Human Services, Inc.
  • Ricardo Mendoza Lepe, PhD, Field Specialist and Research Coordinator, Bienestar Human Services, Inc.
  • Ronald Brooks, PhD, Assistant Professor at Department of Family Medicine at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, and he is also Director of Research and Evaluation at Bienestar Human Services, Inc.
  • Brendan O’Connell, MSW, Chief Operating Officer, Bienestar Human Services, Inc.

Presentation Title: Homeless not hopeless: The impact of support systems in improving the quality of life of transgender people of color experiencing homelessness

Summary: Identifying the impact that social support connections, specifically from family members, have on trans people of color in facing risk situations and preventing future risk factors.
















NIH Celebrates FDA Approval of Long-Acting Injectable Drug for HIV Prevention

This content originally appeared on the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease website. View the full article here.

NIH Celebrates FDA Approval of Long-Acting Injectable Drug for HIV Prevention

Approval Marks Pivotal Expansion of HIV Prevention Options in the United States

December 20, 2021 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its first approval of a long-acting HIV prevention medication. Developed by ViiV Healthcare, the medicine is long-acting cabotegravir injected once every two months. FDA has approved the medicine for use by adults and adolescents weighing at least 35 kilograms who are at risk of sexually acquiring HIV. This milestone marks a vital expansion of biomedical HIV prevention options available to people in the United States. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, thanks and congratulates everyone who led, conducted and participated in the research that led to this important development.

An estimated 34,800 people in the United States acquired HIV in 2019, the most recent year for which data are available. Men who have sex with men, transgender women who have sex with men, and Black cisgender women are among those disproportionately affected by HIV in this country.

Until today, the only FDA-licensed medications for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) were daily oral pills containing the HIV drugs tenofovir and emtricitabine. These medications are highly effective at preventing HIV when taken daily as prescribed. However, taking a pill daily while feeling healthy can be challenging. Long-acting injectable cabotegravir PrEP is a less frequent, more discreet HIV prevention option that may be more desirable for some people.

The FDA approval is based on data primarily from two NIH-supported clinical trials, HPTN 083 and HPTN 084. Both trials compared the safety and effectiveness of a PrEP regimen containing long-acting injectable cabotegravir with a regimen of daily oral PrEP. HPTN 083 enrolled more than 4,500 cisgender men who have sex with men and transgender women who have sex with men in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, South Africa, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam. HPTN 084 enrolled more than 3,200 cisgender women in Botswana, Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The two trials found that both HIV prevention methods were safe and highly effective, but injectable cabotegravir was more effective than daily oral PrEP at preventing HIV acquisition.

The HPTN 083 and HPTN 084 trials were sponsored by NIAID and conducted by the NIH-funded HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN). NIAID and ViiV Healthcare co-funded both trials; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also supported HPTN 084. HPTN is co-funded by NIAID, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, all part of NIH.

White House’s Harold Phillips Discusses World AIDS Day & the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

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

Harold Phillips, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), recently spoke with HIV.gov about the 2021 World AIDS Day and release of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).

Harold discussed the process of drafting NHAS and provided an overview of the Strategy. Watch the conversation here.

He shared the Administration’s “whole-of-society” approach to updating NHAS: “…public health plays a really key and important role, but we know how important social determinants of health are. We also know how important partnerships and collaborations with community, faith-based, private sector partners are in this effort. And this plan includes strategies and approaches that can be used by those entities as well.”

Harold also reviewed modifications added to NHAS, including:

  • Increased focus on substance use disorders.
  • Community and clinical behavioral health models.
  • Harm reduction approaches that intersect with STIs, viral hepatitis, and HIV.
  • A greater emphasis on strategies for people aging with HIV.

He also spoke about how the Administration plans to implement the Strategy: “We’ll be looking at the issue of HIV criminalization and how to help states and localities address those laws and policies that really get in the way and create discriminatory actions, as well as stigmatizing people living with HIV.”

Please follow the HIV.gov blog for more conversations with Harold Phillips. Read more about the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

JAIDS Special Issue Cover

JAIDS Special Issue: Innovative Approaches to Building Health Equity in the Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS in California

CHIPTS Development Core Director Norweeta G. Milburn, PhD, and Marguerita Lightfoot, PhD, have recently completed a special issue of JAIDS: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome entitled Innovative Approaches to Building Health Equity in the Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS in California. The special issue draws upon the work of the California HIV/AIDS Research Program’s 2015 funding initiatives to support research centers and demonstration projects to address health disparities in HIV. Excerpts from their Introduction to the Special Issue supplement article are below. View the full article here.

Addressing Health Disparities in HIV: Introduction to the Special Issue

Norweeta Milburn, PhD

Racial and ethnic minority, sexual and gender minority, and low-income people have historically experienced poorer health outcomes and poorer social conditions that lead to poorer health outcomes (social determinants of health) than nonminority people in the United States. To eliminate these health disparities, intentional and targeted interventions that address the needs and preferences of diverse populations are needed. This special issue describes interventions that aimed to increase linkage to and engagement in HIV-specific prevention or medical care, each uniquely tailored to the needs of an identified California population with disparate HIV-related health outcomes and each for implementation at a specific stage of the HIV prevention and care continuum.

In 2015, the California HIV/AIDS Research Program (CHRP) launched 2 funding initiatives, totaling more than $18,000,000: the first to fund the development of HIV-Related Health Disparities Centers within CA-based Centers for AIDS Research, and the second to fund demonstration projects (both behavioral interventions and biomedical clinical trials) of “pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV Prevention By and For the Transgender Community” in CA. These funding opportunities were designed according to key principles of community-based participatory research. For example, each study team was required to form a partnership with at least 1 community-based organization that had an existing service relationship with the target population, and establish that partnership either before or during the planning stage of the research project, to ensure inclusion of their views in intervention design and outcome assessments.

Taken together, these funding initiatives aimed to (1) jump-start a statewide effort to close the gap of HIV-related health disparities; (2) set the HIV research agenda on course to directly address health disparities; (3) establish the efficacy of multiple interventions to improve HIV-related outcomes for the identified target populations, including the first large-scale trials of PrEP for transgender persons; and (4) facilitate collaboration between academia, government, community, and industry and among 3 University of California campuses.

The six research centers that were funded under these initiatives are outlined below:

The UCLA HIV Disparities Center focused on 3 populations experiencing health disparities: transgender persons, young African American MSM, and homeless youth. The UCLA core implemented a multilevel structural intervention targeting current clinicians at UCLA Medical Center, trainee clinicians at UCLA School of Medicine (SOM), and the standing curriculum at UCLA SOM to improve capacity and skills in providing culturally competent care for transgender persons. A second team of investigators designed and implemented a social work and legal case management intervention with a mobile application for young African American MSM living with HIV infection but who were not in care. Each arm in this randomized, controlled trial received a weekly text-based ecological momentary assessment to assess medication adherence. A third team designed a popular opinion leader intervention for homeless young people at risk of HIV acquisition that leveraged artificial intelligence that was implemented at drop-in centers in central Los Angeles.

The UCSD HIV Disparities Center worked with members of the faith community, HIV-positive women experiencing syndemic exposures (ie, histories of substance use, mental health disorder, trauma, intimate partner violence, and others), and African American persons living with HIV who were out of care. The team held public faith-based HIV educational events with DJs and gospel choirs and offered free HIV testing; held community HIV research summits; and hosted the 2020 National CFAR meeting. This center also developed a two-way Community Partner Registry in which community-based organizations (CBOs) could request assistance with technical skills usually limited to academia, including grant application writing and data collection methods, and UCSD researchers could contact CBOs to identify potential study sites and/or study participants. To aid in recruitment and retention across multiple studies, the team established a social media management system through Hootsuite and a transportation system to bring volunteers to the clinic with direct billing through Lyft Concierge.

The UCSF HIV Disparities Center engaged scientific leaders to host multiple symposia on HIV-related health disparities (with a particular focus on homelessness), form a coordinated regional response to HIV, and host the 2020 IAS International Conference on HIV/AIDS. Locally, the UCSF clinical trials addressed the needs of young people (aged 18–29 years) living with HIV and who had histories of substance use in 1 trial and members of the House Ball community in Oakland and the wider Bay Area in another. The youth-focused project, known as Y2TEC, established a Youth Advisory Panel at the start of funding, which proved to be critical to its success: an initial face-to-face clinical encounter was added to the study design before onset of the mobile application-based intervention on the suggestion of the Youth Advisory Panel, and research participants reported this session to be important to them. Moreover, at UCSF, the We Are Family project, built on long-standing relationships between academic investigators and members of the local House Ball community (generally young sexual minority people of color who form families of choice and provide social support and/or housing), held group educational sessions hosted by the community partner (CAL-PEP), cohosted balls (glamorous events with participant competitions), established a mobile application-based support system that strengthened community cohesion, and hosted mobile HIV testing events.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) PrEP By and For Transgender Persons Center, in partnership with 5 local clinics, developed and implemented the STAY Study, an innovative demonstration project that evaluated PrEP uptake, adherence, safety, impact on sexual risk behaviors, and potential interactions between the PrEP medication (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine, or TDF/FTC) and gender-affirming hormonal therapy among transgender persons in the San Francisco Bay Area transgender community. This team piloted the use of PrEPmate, a mobile health intervention using MSM text messaging to promote adherence to PrEP medication and retention in PrEP care. As a result of working at multiple local clinics, they demonstrated that offering a decentralized PrEP-only clinic that was independent of primary care led to a rapid PrEP enrollment, including among those at greater sexual risk of acquiring HIV. Testing multiple social marketing campaigns, they found that campaigns that showed PrEP in the context of the beauty, vibrancy, and resilience of transgender and nonbinary communities were more acceptable than messages that sensationalized HIV and the promise of prevention. Continuity of care and medication provision are provided as part of peer navigation services at postintervention follow-up visits.

The UC San Diego PrEP By and For Transgender Persons Center conducted studies to address knowledge gaps of PrEP in transgender individuals for: (1) linkage and engagement of transgender persons to PrEP, (2) measuring and testing methods to improve adherence to PrEP, and (3) determining whether there are differences in TDF/FTC pharmacology for HIV-uninfected transgender persons who are taking gender-affirming hormonal therapy. The team conducted 2 primary studies: a randomized controlled clinical trial to evaluate the ability of a transgender PrEP outreach worker (T-POWr) to link HIV-uninfected transgender persons to PrEP providers; and a randomized controlled clinical demonstration project to determine whether the use of a text message–based adherence intervention (iTAB) plus a telephone-based, brief, motivational interviewing (MI-b) intervention improve retention in and adherence to PrEP compared with iTAB alone in transgender/GNC persons. Multiple substudies examined the interaction of gender-affirming hormonal therapy and PrEP and their effect on biomarkers of each; the role of resilience, social support, and coping skills in PrEP adherence; and (c) the impact of STIs, inflammation, and the vaginal microbiome on genital tenofovir (TFV) levels. Three new studies have arisen from the parent CHRP grant, further examining the interaction of gender-affirming hormones and PrEP when used by transgender persons.

The UCSF PrEP By and For Transgender Persons Center launched the TRIUMPH Project or Trans Research-Informed communities United in Mobilization for the Prevention of HIV. The team developed a PrEP delivery system and implemented a PrEP uptake and adherence intervention within a network of clinics and community-based organizations designed specifically to serve transgender communities and determined the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of both. Their i-BrEATHe substudy assessed (1) the pharmacokinetics of daily oral tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) in transgender women and transgender men, using directly observed therapy; (2) determined whether TDF/FTC drug concentrations were lower among transgender women who were using feminizing hormonal therapy and among transgender men who were using masculinizing hormonal therapy compared with historical controls in non–trans men who have sex with men without hormonal therapy; and (3) determined whether daily oral TDF/FTC was associated with comparable rates of adverse events (AEs) in transgender women and transgender men compared with historical controls in nontransgender MSM. A follow-on study of the implementation of the TRIUMPH intervention has been funded by NIH.

Persistent disparities in HIV incidence, prevalence, access to care, and other HIV-related health outcomes in California and the United States indicate that remediation efforts have been insufficient. To begin to mitigate these disparities and bring more equity to health outcomes, new ways of doing public health research must be adopted. The California HIV Research Program set out to demonstrate a new model for collaborative planning and implementation of public health research to address these persistent disparities across many highly specific populations throughout CA. We fostered collaborations, jointly developed a detailed research strategy, strengthened community ties to academia, and built capacity at local community-based organizations, all of which resulted in an extraordinary set of data, capabilities, and public health innovations. The cross-sector community collaborative model that these 6 groups codesigned served as a home for multiple community-based participatory research projects, each addressing diverse and marginalized groups at risk for or living with HIV. Including those groups in the research from its very formation was necessary for it’s success; the overarching aim of bringing equity to health outcomes among those communities was explicit from the beginning. As researchers and health planners look to the future, adopting this cross-sector framework of community engagement with unequivocal goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the planning stage could help to move us all toward ending the HIV epidemic, together.

HIV, Methamphetamine Use, and Pulmonary Hypertension: From Blue Skies to an Integrated Research Agenda

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 – CHIPTS and our partners at Stanford University hosted an in-person/virtual (hybrid) symposium entitled “HIV, Methamphetamine Use, and Pulmonary Hypertension: From Blue Skies to an Integrated Research Agenda.” Chronic methamphetamine use with concomitant HIV infection is thought to act synergistically to fuel both the development and progression of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) – resulting in more rapid progression of disease and poorer outcomes among methamphetamine-using individuals living with HIV. However, the impacts of chronic methamphetamine use and HIV infection in relation to the diagnosis and clinical trajectory of PAH are not fully understood. Dr. Cherie S. Blair led this day-long, multidisciplinary “think tank” meeting of investigators from institutions across the US to discuss the development of an integrated research agenda to address HIV, methamphetamine use, and pulmonary hypertension.

The objectives of the symposium were to:

  • Share the latest research findings and current state of knowledge surrounding HIV, methamphetamine use, and pulmonary hypertension.
  • Define the behavioral research agenda for HIV, methamphetamine use, and pulmonary hypertension.
  • Identify cross-disciplinary intersections to yield funded research on HIV, methamphetamine use, and pulmonary hypertension.

An expert panel of speakers were featured at the symposium, including:

  • Stuti Agarwal, PhD (Stanford University)
  • Jennifer Fulcher, MD, PhD (UCLA)
  • Michael Li, PhD (UCLA)
  • Vinicio de Jesus Perez, MD (Stanford University)
  • Steve Shoptaw, PhD (UCLA)
  • Madhukar Trivedi, MD (University of Texas Southwestern)
  • Roham Zamanian, MD (Stanford University)

Please see the symposium flyer and recordings below. If you have any questions, please contact Cheríe Blair, MD, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor in the UCLA Department of Medicine, at CherieBlair@mednet.ucla.edu.

Flyer: HIV, Methamphetamine Use, and Pulmonary Hypertension: From Blue Skies to an Integrated Research Agenda Agenda: HIV, Methamphetamine Use, and Pulmonary Hypertension: From Blue Skies to an Integrated Research Agenda


Event Recording:

Presentation Title: “Epidemiology of Methamphetamine Use and Infectious Diseases: Methamphetamine Use and Outcomes Along ART and CTRA Gene Expression”

Presenter: Michael Li, PhD (UCLA)


Presentation Title: “Pathophysiology and Clinical Outcomes of Pulmonary Hypertension Identifying Points for Prevention and Intervention”

Presenters: Vinicio de Jesus Perez, MD and Roham Zamanian, MD


Presentation Title: “Contributions of HIV and Methamphetamine Use to Pulmonary Hypertension Current State of What is Known”

Presenter: Stuti Agarwal, PhD (Stanford University)


Presentation Title: “Neuropsychiatric Complications Linked with Methamphetamine Use, Addiction and Cardiovascular Disease”

Presenter: Madhukar Trivedi, MD (University of Texas Southwestern)


Presentation Title: “Overview of Treatments for Methamphetamine Use Disorder”

Presenter: Steve Shoptaw, PhD (UCLA)


Presentation Title: “Pathophysiology and Mechanisms of Inflammation with Methamphetamine Use”

Presenter: Jennifer Fulcher, MD, PhD

HRSA Announces FY 2022 Ending the HIV Epidemic – Primary Care HIV Prevention (PCHP) Competitive Funding Opportunity for Health Centers

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

HRSA has released the fiscal year (FY) 2022 Ending the HIV Epidemic – Primary Care HIV Prevention (PCHP) Notice of Funding Opportunity (HRSA-22-104). Through this competitive funding opportunity, HRSA will invest approximately $50 million in health centers located in the targeted geographic locations where a majority of new HIV infections occur, as identified by the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative.

FY 2022 PCHP will support expanding HIV prevention services that decrease the risk of HIV transmission in underserved communities, focusing on supporting access to and use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). HRSA funded health centers with service delivery sites in the targeted geographic locations that did not receive FY 2020 PCHP or FY 2021 PCHP funding will be eligible to apply. Technical assistance (TA) resources are available on the PCHP TA webpage.
FY 2022 PCHP applications are due in:

  • Grants.gov: Tuesday, December 14, 2021
  • HRSA’s Electronic Handbooks: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

HRSA will host a TA webinar for applicants:

Thursday, October 28
2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Join the day of the session
If you prefer to join by phone: 833-568-8864
When prompted, enter meeting/webinar ID: 160 011 6977

Read about the FY21 PCHP awards made in September and another post about the HIV services delivered by health centers in 2020.

CDC Awards More Than $2 Million to National Organizations to Amplify Let’s Stop HIV Together Campaign

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

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is awarding $2.4 million over five years to 13 organizations nationwide to distribute materials and messages from its Let’s Stop HIV Together (Together) campaign, as well as other CDC HIV resources. The work will be carried out under the campaign’s second funding cycle of the Partnering and Communicating Together (PACT) program.

Together is CDC’s evidence-based campaign aimed at stopping HIV stigma and promoting HIV testing, prevention, and treatment. The campaign is part of the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative. Together includes free bilingual (English and Spanish) digital and print resources designed to reach a wide range of audiences and support health departments, community-based organizations, health care providers and community leaders in their collective effort to reach the goals outlined in EHE.

PACT organizations will promote Together campaign elements on their social and digital channels as well as at virtual and in-person events. The organizations have a history of working within communities most affected by HIV. As trusted sources of information within their communities, PACT organizations will use their extensive networks to expand the reach of the Together campaign. They will engage, educate, and mobilize communities to reduce the number of new HIV infections, improve the health of people with HIV, and reduce HIV-related stigma and disparities.

For more information about the Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign, visit the campaign’s website. You will find resources to support efforts to stop HIV stigma and promote HIV testingprevention, and treatment.

PACT Member Organizations

Funding and activities for the PACT program are divided into two categories: A) Digital and Social Media and B) Events.

Category A: Digital and Social Media

Category B: Events

National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day (#NLAAD) 2021

October 15, 2021 – Today, CHIPTS commemorates National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD), a day dedicated to recognizing the impact of HIV in the Latinx community. In honor of NLAAD, CHIPTS Combination Prevention Core Scientist Dr. Ronald A. Brooks shares a reflection on the impact of HIV among Latinx persons and recommended approaches to end the HIV epidemic in the Latinx community.

Dr. Brooks has dedicated his entire career here at UCLA to social-behavioral HIV research with Latinx sexual and gender minority populations. He also currently serves as the Interim Director of Research and Evaluation at Bienestar Human Services, one of the largest Latinx HIV service organization in the U.S. Read Dr. Brooks’ reflection below.

National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day 2021

Each year on October 15th we observe National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) to bring attention to the impact of HIV on Latinx persons in the United States. NLAAD is a day to re-invigorate our commitment to promoting HIV awareness and testing, disseminating effective HIV prevention strategies such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), linking people to care for improved health outcomes, and working toward reducing HIV disparities and creating greater health equity in the Latinx community.

According to the CDC, Latinx persons accounted for over a quarter (28%) of all new HIV infections in the U.S in 2019, at a rate that was three times higher than that among non-Hispanic White persons. The overwhelming majority of new HIV infections in the Latinx community were among gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men. Another group severely impacted by HIV are Latina transgender women. The CDC’s recent HIV Surveillance Special Report assessing HIV Infection, Risk, Prevention, and Testing Behaviors Among Transgender Women in 7 US Cities, 2019-2020 found that 35% of Latina transgender women had HIV. For many Latinx sexual and gender minority persons, HIV looms like an omnipresent dark cloud over their lives. Moreover, one in six Latinx persons in the U.S. is unaware of their HIV status. As a result, they cannot take advantage of early HIV treatment to improve their health outcomes, and may continue to transmit HIV to others. With new HIV infections continuing to impact Latinx persons, now, more than ever, is the time to act to bring an end to the HIV epidemic in this community.

We have the tools to bring an end to the HIV epidemic among Latinx persons. Today’s HIV medications are simpler to take and less toxic and can help persons achieve viral suppression so they can no longer transmit the virus to others. PrEP is highly effective biomedical prevention strategy that can help reduce the rate of new HIV infections. However, multiple systemic, community, and individual-level barriers hinder access to these tools among Latinx persons. Barriers include experiences of stigma and discrimination resulting from homophobia, transphobia, and racism, and intersectional stigma stemming from the multiple marginalized identities of many Latinx persons (e.g., immigration status and lack of documentation, monolingual Spanish speaking, substance use disorder, sexual orientation, gender identity). Other systemic barriers include poverty and lack of access to quality health care services. On NLAAD, it is important to think about what interventions and resources are needed by Latinx communities across the country to help overcome these barriers and bring an end to HIV among all Latinx persons. In addition, it is important to consider the role that trusted Latinx community-based organizations can play in providing these HIV services to the community in a culturally affirming and respectful manner.

Moving forward, addressing the HIV epidemic among Latinx populations will require shifting our approach to be “status neutral.” This approach integrates prevention and treatment services so that both become part of the fabric of comprehensive primary prevention and care. By no longer separating these areas of HIV into silos, we can help mitigate HIV-related stigma that continues to plague our prevention and treatment efforts with this population.

Today, on NLAAD, I am encouraged by a new wave of emerging Latinx community leaders working in HIV prevention and treatment. These leaders are forging new and stronger partnerships with academic HIV researchers and public health departments to take on the HIV battle in novel and innovative ways. These partnerships involve more inclusion and participation of community in HIV research with Latinx populations — partnerships that will result in the creation of culturally-centered and more impactful strategies and interventions to end the HIV epidemic affecting all Latinx populations.

HHS Awards $2.21 Billion in Fiscal Year 2021 to Help Americans Access HIV Care, Support Services, and Medication

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

October 5, 2021 – Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced approximately $2.21 billion in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funding for cities, counties, states, and local community-based organizations in fiscal year (FY) 2021. This funding, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), supports a comprehensive system of HIV primary medical care, medication, and essential support services critical to improving the health outcomes of nearly 560,000 people with HIV in the United States.

“For more than three decades, HHS has driven federal efforts to end the HIV epidemic in our country and improve health outcomes for people with HIV,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “These funds support viral suppression that saves lives, reduces health disparities, and slows the spread of HIV. We will continue to support the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of ending the HIV epidemic in the United States.”

The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program provides care and treatment services to low-income people with HIV, with a strong focus on health equity and addressing social determinants of health. The program serves approximately 50 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV in the United States. In 2019, 88.1 percent of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program clients who received HIV medical care were virally suppressed, up from 69.5 percent in 2010.

“Our Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is a groundbreaking effort that has made extraordinary progress over the years toward ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S.,” said HRSA Acting Administrator Diana Espinosa. “These grants support life-saving care, treatment, and medication that improves health outcomes and reduces HIV transmission to patients across the country.”

HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program also awarded $99 million through Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) funding in March 2021, as part of a Department-wide initiative to reduce new HIV transmission in the United States by 90percent by 2030.

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Fiscal Year 2021 Awards:

Under Part A of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, approximately $621.4 million was awarded to 52 metropolitan areas to provide core medical and support services for people with HIV. These grants were awarded to highly-impacted urban areas with the highest number of people with HIV and AIDS. For a list of the FY 2021 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part A award recipients, visit https://hab.hrsa.gov/about-ryan-white-hivaids-program/part-a-grants-emerging-metro-transitional-areas/fy2021-awards.

Under Part B of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, approximately $1.3 billion was awarded to 59 states and territories to improve the quality, availability and organization of HIV health care and support services and for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). Additionally, 16 states received Emerging Community grants based on the number of AIDS cases over the most recent five-year period. In addition, 29 states and territories were also awarded approximately $10.2 million in Part B Minority AIDS Initiative grants. For a list of the FY 2021 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part B award recipients, visit https://hab.hrsa.gov/about-ryan-white-hivaids-program/part-b-grants-states-territories/fy2021-awards.

Under Part C Early Intervention Services (EIS) of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, approximately $179.8 million was awarded across the country to 347 local, community-based organizations to provide core medical and support services to people with HIV. Additionally, 30 organizations were awarded approximately $4.4 million in Part C Capacity Development grants. For a list of the FY 2021 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C EIS award recipients, visit https://hab.hrsa.gov/about-ryan-white-hivaids-program/part-c-early-intervention-services-and-capacity-development-program-grants/fy2021-eis-awards. For a list of the FY 2021 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C Capacity Development award recipients, visit https://hab.hrsa.gov/about-ryan-white-hivaids-program/part-c-early-intervention-services-and-capacity-development-program-grants/fy2021-capacity-awards.

Under Part D of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, approximately $67.2 million was awarded to 114 local community-based organizations across the country to provide family-centered comprehensive HIV care and treatment for women, infants, children, and youth with HIV. For a list of the FY 2021 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part D award recipients, visit https://hab.hrsa.gov/about-ryan-white-hivaids-program/part-d-services-women-infants-children-and-youth/fy2021-awards.

Under Part F of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, approximately $67.6 million was awarded to support clinical training, oral health services, quality improvement, and the development of innovative models of care through several different programs. Approximately $8.9 million was awarded to 45 recipients through the Dental Reimbursement Program, and nearly $3.5 million was awarded to 12 recipients through the Community-Based Dental Partnership Program. For a list of the FY 2021 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part F Dental Reimbursement Program award recipients and Community-Based Dental Partnership Program award recipients, visit https://hab.hrsa.gov/about-ryan-white-hivaids-program/part-f-dental-programs/fy2021-awards.

Under Part F, the AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETC) Program awarded approximately $30.3 million through 14 grants and cooperative agreements to support education and training of health care professionals, which includes a network of eight regional and two national centers. For a list of the FY 2021 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program AETC award recipients, visit https://hab.hrsa.gov/about-ryan-white-hivaids-program/part-f-aids-education-and-training-centers-aetc-program/fy2021-awards.

In addition, $25 million was awarded through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) Program under Part F, which includes $9.9 million in funding for new initiatives. SPNS supports the development of innovative models of HIV care and treatment strategies using implementation science while promoting the dissemination and replication of successful interventions to support underserved populations. Through these special projects, SPNS recipients implement a variety of interventions, which contribute to the advancement of public health knowledge and the goal of ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S. For a list of the FY 2021 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program SPNS award recipients, visit https://hab.hrsa.gov/about-ryan-white-hivaids-program/part-f-special-projects-national-significance-spns-program/fy2021-awards.

To learn more about HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, visit hab.hrsa.gov.

For more information about HRSA’s role in the EHE initiative, visit www.hrsa.gov/ending-HIV-epidemic.

For more information about HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, treatment, and research, visit HIV.gov.

Group of syringes

FDA Grants Priority Review to New Drug Application for Long-Acting Injectable Cabotegravir for HIV Prevention

This week, the global specialist HIV company ViiV Healthcare announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted and granted Priority Review for a New Drug Application (NDA) for investigational long-acting injectable cabotegravir for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). If approved, injectable cabotegravir would become the first long-acting therapy for HIV prevention. The FDA has set a target approval date of January 24, 2022.

The NDA was based on the results from two phase IIb/III studies, HPTN 083 and HPTN 084. Led by CHIPTS Co-Director Raphael J. Landovitz, MD, MSc, HPTN 083 evaluated the safety and efficacy of long-acting injectable cabotegravir for PrEP in men who have sex with men and transgender women, while HPTN 084 evaluated the same factors in cisgender women. The blinded, randomized portions of both studies were stopped early by independent Data Safety Monitoring Boards after long-acting injectable cabotegravir was shown to be superior to daily oral emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (FTC/TDF) tablets in preventing HIV acquisition.

“In the United States, fewer than 25% of those who could benefit from PrEP are currently taking it, which points to the need for additional HIV prevention options,” said Kimberly Smith, MD, MPH, Head of Research & Development at ViiV Healthcare. “We believe new options like investigational cabotegravir long-acting for PrEP will help play a significant role in our collective efforts to end the HIV epidemic.”

Long-acting injectable cabotegravir has not yet been approved or licensed anywhere in the world for use in HIV prevention. ViiV Healthcare will initiate submissions of this therapy to other regulatory authorities by the end of 2021.