Local, National, and Global HIV/AIDS Research & Resources | Fall/Winter 2018
Community Engagement: Saving Lives through Leadership and Partnerships
For World AIDS Day, CAPS and the PRC are proud to be among the many organizations that have a strong commitment of service to the HIV/AIDS community, fostering leadership and partnerships that support HIV research and initiatives that advert HIV infection and improve the lives of all those effected by HIV.

In 2018, we demonstrated leadership by providing access to HIV research for those communities most affected by the epidemic, as well as supporting our career faculty in building partnerships and launching meaningful community-engaged projects. We partnered with community advisory boards and organizations to better understand the most effective ways to improve HIV prevention and treatment, such as using social networks to improve HIV testing and mobilizing the unique roles of the ball community to improve linkage and retention in care. 

In 2019, we look forward to continuing our important work and leadership in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the world by building and sustaining partnerships that effectively fight HIV!  

Marguerita Lightfoot, PhD
CAPS/PRC Director
Division of Prevention Science Chief
In This Issue

  1. Local projects
  2. National projects
  3. International projects
  4. Research and Resources Booklet for National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  5. Videos: Faculty Research Spotlight
  6. Announcements
Highlights of local community-engaged projects
Dr. Parya Saberi launched The Youth Advisory Panel (YAP), a research-focused community advisory group composed of young adults ages 18-29 living in the San Francisco bay area. The mission of the YAP is to provide youth input and feedback to scientists working with this population, to alert scientist of pressing youth community issues and topics in HIV treatment and prevention, and to assist scientists in effectively disseminating important research findings to a youth audience. The goal is to create a forum where young people can contribute and become more involved in on-going health research and to receive training for professional development.  
This project, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and headed by Marguerita Lightfoot, aim is to address the significant HIV health disparities among African Americans by strengthening community engagement and supporting implementation of evidence-based strategies and approaches. The Center translates and disseminates HIV science; trains students, public health professionals, and community members; and continually evaluate its activities. The Center’s community engagement efforts include a research partnership with a community-based organization to implement STYLE, an evidence-based intervention designed to improve engagement in healthcare among HIV-positive African American gay/bi, and other MSM, with a focus on young men, discussed below.
Greg Rebchook and colleagues are collaborating with AIDS Project of the East Bay (APEB) in Oakland California that serves Black/African American gay, bisexual, and other MSM who are
living with HIV. The partnership adapts and replicates STYLE, an evidence-based intervention that has been shown to improve engagement in healthcare among young MSM of color living with HIV. The implementation toolkit, a primary project outcome, is available at https://style.ucsf.edu/ .

Judy Tan and colleagues explored mobile technology use and narratives of aging with HIV among older Black MSM to inform mHealth intervention development. Semi-structured interviews conducted among 12 Black MSM living with HIV age 50 or older investigated issues of aging, HIV care engagement, and mobile technology use. Men appreciated having survived the AIDS epidemic, but some expressed discomfort and ambivalence toward aging. Promising new information contributing to mHealth, as it relates to older Black MSM living with HIV, is provided. Men described various levels of engagement in HIV care and treatment; challenges included social isolation and need for support that was not focused on HIV. Study participants expressed a high level of interest in a mobile technology-based intervention. Almost all described using mobile technology to engage in healthcare, while some referenced important barriers and challenges to technology use. 

HIV/AIDS among Black men is a U.S. public health crisis, emphasizing the urgency for increased research focus and intervention development. Judy Tan and colleagues developed an application with an overall objective of achieving a better understanding of the role that dyadic factors play in individual-level HIV care engagement outcomes among Black men living with HIV in romantic relationships. Researchers integrated CAPS/PRC/CFAR Community Advisory Board’s input into the application and are now developing an intervention that employs innovative mobile technology to target partnership dynamics that optimize outcomes in the HIV care continuum. 

Drs. Parya Saberi and Carol Dawson-Rose are working with youth living with HIV (YLHW) ages 18-29 in the San Francisco Bay Area and their providers to assess the feasibility and acceptability of delivering HIV care and decreasing substance use through text messaging and teleconferencing. Existing interventions for YLWH will be adapted and developed to create the “Youth To Text or Telehealth for Engagement in HIV Care” (Y2TEC) intervention. If this innovative intervention is found to be feasible and acceptable, it can be scaled up for a multi-site clinical trial. The Y2TEC Study worked with members of the YAP to practice the intervention and will work with the YAP to disseminate results and create the revised version of the intervention. 
Highlights of national community-engaged projects
John Sauceda is exploring how people understand risks and benefit information of HIV cure studies, and why healthy, virally suppressed individuals consent to participate. This research was developed with input from a community advisory board and uses an online survey to study healthy people living with HIV throughout the U.S. The project is testing whether willingness to participate in a hypothetical HIV cure study is influenced by how the research risks and benefits are presented, and whether a person's altruism influences decisions to participate. The researchers are investigating how community members interested in cure research understand these ethical issues and hope to provide empirically derived recommendations for framing the risks and benefits for participation in cure research.

Susan Kegeles, Greg Rebchook, and colleagues are testing a community-level intervention (CLI), Mpowerment+ (MP+) ”, to build and mobilize communities of young Black/African American gay, bisexual and other MSM (BMSM) to support MSM living with HIV to improve engagement in healthcare. The aims of MP+ , adapted from Mpowerment – an evidenced based intervention – are to: (1) adapt and expand MP into MP+, a multilevel intervention that includes a new focus on increasing engagement in healthcare by reducing stigma and increasing social support; (2) implement MP+ in Houston for 3 years in collaboration with Legacy Community Health; and (3) evaluate the efficacy of MP+ in increasing engagement care (utilizing Dallas as a comparison community).
Highlights of international community-engaged projects

Based on 7 years of formative work and piloting, Maria Ekstrand and colleagues at the St. John’s Research Institute in Bangalore, India, designed a comprehensive wellness intervention, in collaboration with their partners from local NGOs and PLWH networks, to improve HIV medication adherence and physical and emotional wellbeing in South India. The Chetana study (2013-2018) provided PLWH with 10 adherence support groups and 6 individual counseling sessions over 6 months. Participants also attended resource sessions presented by local NGO representatives that focused on positive and hopeful living, including yoga, nutrition, local resources, and legal rights of PLWH. At 12 months, intervention participants were more likely than controls to be virally suppressed, report >95% adherence, and to have eliminated adherence barriers.  

Maria Ekstrand and her colleagues at the St. John’s Research Institute in Bangalore, India, are conducting a partially computer tablet-administered intervention to reduce HIV stigma among healthcare workers in South India. The interactive tablet sessions contain video vignettes, based on input by the CAB and a local PLWH network, with several scenes featuring PLWH telling their stories of experiences with the healthcare system. The intervention also includes a group session in which an HIV-positive spokesperson from the local Network for Positive People co-leads a skills-building session with nursing students and ward staff. Descriptions of the DriSti protocol may be found here and here .

In Zimbabwe, low percentages of young women (45%) and young men (24%) report being tested for HIV and receiving their result. Marguerita Lightfoot and colleagues examine the efficacy of a peer-driven, social media HIV-testing campaign through the use of social networks to increase the number of high-risk adolescents receiving HIV screening and subsequent linkage to prevention, care and treatment services. This community engaged intervention is being implemented among youth ages 16 - 24 in 12 communities randomly assigned to matched pairs that will either receive a community-level, peer-driven HIV testing campaign or standard voluntary HIV counseling and testing. Data will be analyzed to assess efficacy to increase testing and the proportion of high-risk youth identified, and determine the feasibility and acceptability of a peer-driven linkage-to-care and retention support strategy.

This brochure lists CAPS/PRC research and helpful resources for:

Questions? Contact Daryl Mangosing at [email protected]
  • Are you living with HIV and in good health? Seeking individuals willing to answer questions related to research in search for a cure for HIV. For information and to determine your eligibility, visit this one-time link: http://bit.ly/HIVCureResearchStudy
  • Trans Amigas launched in May 2018 with support from a small NIH grant, including training of 9 transgender women living with HIV to provide support and guidance for up to 150 participants either just starting care or re-starting HIV treatment after leaving treatment for a time. Help Improve health outcomes for trans women living with HIV by donating today.
  • Congratulations to Marguerita Lightfoot for being awarded the 2018 UCSF Chancellor Award of LGBTQI Leadership!
  • Check out the Positive Project, the world's largest digital video archive with over 3,300 video clips telling the stories of people living with HIV: https://positiveproject.ucsf.edu
  • Missed any our CAPS Town Halls? Browse our live-streamed town hall videos here!
  • Welcome to our new staff and TAPS fellow! Luz-Fernanda Venegas (Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC)), Cinthya Herrera (CRC), Catherine (Katie) Rivas (Assistant CRC), Joaquin Meza (Postgrad Intern), and Chemtai Mungo (TAPS Fellow)
The mission of Center for AIDS Prevention Studies is to end the HIV epidemic and associated health and social disparities by conducting high impact HIV prevention science and building capacity among researchers and communities to effectively address HIV.  Project #: 2P30MH062246

The mission of the UCSF Prevention Research Center is to maintain an interdependent network of community, academic, and public health partners to design and implement prevention research aimed at answering significant and innovative HIV research questions and promoting the wide use of practices proven to promote health for those infected and affected by HIV.  Project #: 5U48DP004998