What's New? Updates from the CFAR

Duke CFAR Newsletter - July 6, 2022

In this newsletter:

News from the CFAR

Upcoming Events

Funding Opportunities

HVTN launches Red Ribbon Registry for HIV vaccine clinical studies

Thumbnail image shows two people wearing baseball jerseys that read "Pride league"

In honor of HIV Vaccine Awareness Day in May, the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) launched the Red Ribbon Registry, a national volunteer registry for HIV vaccine clinical studies. The registry is accessible through a redesigned website, HelpEndHIV.org The launch is accompanied by a campaign, including the ad above, which will run across tv, internet radio, social media, digital display and print. You can learn more and read the press release on HVTN.org.

News from the CFAR

Blue PrEP pills in background. Headshot of Dr. Okeke with text reading "Congratulations to  Dr. Lance Okeke on his R01! Leveraging Local Health System Electronic Health Record Data to Enhance PrEP Access in  Southeastern Louisiana:  A Community-Informed Approach  (Co-PI: Clement)"

Dr. Lance Okeke awarded R01 to explore use of electronic health record data to inform strategies for PrEP uptake

Congratulations to Dr. Nwora Lance Okeke, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases provider, for being awarded an R01 entitled Leveraging Local Health System Electronic Health Record Data to Enhance PrEP Access in Southeastern Louisiana: A Community-Informed Approach along with co-PI Dr. Meredith Clement of Louisiana State University.

Their project seeks to address barriers to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake in Louisiana, a state where PrEP uptake is among the lowest in the country. Louisiana exemplifies the disparity between PrEP need and uptake in the U.S. South, ranking 4th among US states in HIV incidence in 2018 while ranking 46th in PrEP uptake the following year. To date, few solutions have emerged to address barriers to optimal PrEP utilization in Louisiana and the South overall.

Okeke and Clement’s R01 focuses on the use of machine learning algorithms embedded within the electronic health record (EHR) of large health systems in Southeastern Louisiana to identify persons at increased risk for HIV infection. The team’s previous work demonstrated proof-of-concept of the utility of EHR-based machine learning algorithms for identifying incident HIV cases, outperforming current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention PrEP indication guidelines. The project seeks to evaluate two novel approaches to expanding EHR-based model implementation beyond their originating health systems and into the communities they serve.

The project has assembled a multidisciplinary team of experts in HIV health services research, HIV prevention epidemiology, health informatics, and implementation science. This team will partner with key community-based organizations to leverage the power and reach of health system EHR towards empowering community members with the data they need to make informed decisions about using PrEP.

Says Okeke, “I am really excited to work with this phenomenal team of researchers that leverages a considerable breath of expertise within Duke, and with our partner institutions. Over the next five years, we will be working diligently towards implementing a novel approach to understanding and identifying the risk of HIV acquisition on a population level using the health system as the fundamental population unit. We hope our work will make an impact on attenuating the HIV epidemic in Southeastern Louisiana, and that the lessons we learn from this work can help us better address our local HIV epidemiology in the near future.”

Read more about the project.

Article featuring incoming DGHI Director Chris Beyrer applies lessons learned from the AIDS crisis to the emerging monkeypox outbreak

A group of men in the New York City streets hold a banner reading "A.I.D.S. : We need research, not hysteria!" Photo is from 1983.

 A group advocating AIDS research marches during the 14th annual Lesbian and Gay Pride parade in Manhattan, New York City, in 1983. Photo by Barbara Alper/Getty Image

An article originally published by STAT, and republished by PBS News Hour, discusses how officials, researchers, and activists are responding to the emerging monkeypox outbreak with the history of HIV at the back of their minds. The article includes comments by Dr. Chris Beyrer, incoming Director of the Duke Global Health Institute.

"The parallels between the two infections are limited but clear. Although the monkeypox strain now in circulation is infinitely milder than HIV — zero fatalities have been reported out of the more than 1,000 cases so far — it is another virus that emerged in sub-Saharan Africa and has popped up outside the continent largely in men who have sex with men.

'There are, you know, echoes,' said Chris Beyrer, director of the Duke Global Health Institute.

And they pose a similar tight-rope challenge for officials: How do you get tools and information about the disease to those who need it without wrongly implying that only that group is at risk, or publicly associating an unfamiliar disease with an already stigmatized community?

Fortunately, this time around, officials have a playbook to work from — one written and rewritten during the worst missteps of the AIDS crisis, as well as the collaborations that ultimately helped curtail the HIV epidemic and other outbreaks."

The article goes on to share some of the lessons learned from the response to the AIDS crisis, including the importance of working closely with activists and community groups and avoiding perpetuating stigma.

Read the full article from STAT News.

Headshot of Dr. Beyrer with quote and description: “It took years, it took people literally occupying the NIH — occupying the FDA, getting arrested — to get a seat at the table.”     Chris Beyrer, incoming director of the Duke Global Health Institute, commenting on the PBS NewsHour on the impact of AIDS activism in the ’80s and how lessons learned from that crisis are shaping the response to the current monkeypox outbreak.

Upcoming Events

UNC CFAR webinar: Integrating Digital Solutions to Address HIV Prevention Across Localized Communities


Tuesday, July 19, 2022 | 9am ET

Flyer with picture of Dr. Bauermeister and event info

In this lecture, Dr. Bauermeister will highlight the importance of recognizing youths' virtual and "in real life" selves, discuss the importance of creating programs that respond to their needs, and showcase the value of bridging these two realities using exemplars from several innovative programs geared to LGBTQ+ youth.

Register for the webinar.

International Workshop on HIV & Aging 2022


October 13 & 14, 2022 |Virtual

Abstract deadline: Friday, July 22, 2022

The International Workshop on HIV & Aging 2022 will be virtual on October 13 and 14, 2022. Abstract submission is open now through July 22. Accepted abstracts are eligible for free or reduced registration. The scholarship application deadline is October 6. Please let us know of any submissions for CFAR tracking purposes.

Categories for Abstract Submission

For purposes of review and programming, abstracts are divided into topical categories:

  • Effect of aging on organ systems (renal, gut, cardiovascular, hepatic, endocrine)
  • Geriatric syndromes
  • HIV/Aging in the international setting
  • Immunology
  • Interventions
  • Malignancy
  • Models of Care
  • Neurology / Psychology
  • Pharmacology
  • Quality of Life / Wellbeing

Submit an abstract and register for the conference.

Global Village at AIDS 2022 featuring exhibit linked to CFAR investigators


July 29-August 2, 2022 (AIDS 2022 Conference) |Montreal

For those attending AIDS 2022 in July, be sure to check out the Global Village! The Global Village is designed to be a gathering place where communities from around the world meet to share their experiences and learn about HIV. The Global Village is where communities can demonstrate the application of science and quality leadership and conference delegates and the general public can witness how science translates into community action and intervention.

A blend of speaker sessions and cultural activities, the Global Village is also a hub for watching live performances, broadening networks and touring marketplace booths and art exhibits.

One exhibit by Kalei Hosaka presents artwork produced through a research project by CFAR investigator and Clinical Core Associate Director Dr. Dorothy Dow: "The Journey of Life Still Continues” (Safari ya maisha bado inaendelea): an exhibit showcasing artwork created through collaborative arts-based research with Youth Living with HIV in Tanzania." Kalei is a medical student at the University of Hawaii and also presented his work at the 2021 CFAR Fall Scientific Retreat.

Learn more about the Global Village.

Funding Opportunities

Duke Center for HIV Structural Biology -Developmental Core Funding Opportunity

Duke Center for HIV Structural Biology logo

The Duke Center for HIV Structural Biology (DCHSB) invites proposals for an HIV research funding opportunity (Collaborative Development Awards - CDA). 

Early-career HIV investigators and investigators new to HIV research from under-represented racial and ethnic groups are encouraged to apply. The program is intended to broadly support HIV-related structural studies aligned with the goals of the Center. 


Applications must be submitted electronically no later than September 12, 2022, 5 p.mEST.

The award covers one year of funding up to $175,000 in total costs.

Applications will be peer-reviewed by a panel convened by the Center’s investigators. Proposals will be evaluated on scientific merit, rigor, quality of project, and impact on HIV research. Our intent is to complete reviews and start funding by December 1, 2022.

Additional details and application information can be found on the Developmental Core Funding Opportunity webpage. For project-related questions, please contact Whitney Beck, BS, Scientific Program Leader (whitney.beck@duke.edu).

Learn more and apply.

Soliciting projects from HVTN Investigators: Mentor a RAMP scholar

The HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) is pleased to announce that the Research and Mentorship Program (RAMP) is seeking RAMP scholar project proposals from investigators in the Network. The HVTN, in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health is investing in the next generation of HIV prevention researchers by providing African American/Black, Latinx, Native American and American Indian, Native Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Islander medical students with opportunities for independent research along with structured mentoring, project and salary funding, training, and professional development activities. Join us in investing in the next generation of physician scientists!


If you are interested in mentoring a RAMP scholar to work on any HVTN related project or site level COVID project (Not protocol specific) on-site at your Clinical Research Site (if COVID has been controlled) between May 2023 and November 2024, please send in a project proposal. Due to the uncertainty with COVID-19, we are requesting mentors to submit projects that are feasible in person (if COVID has been controlled) AND remotely (if COVID has not been controlled). 

Visit the HVTN Investigators Resources page for details on project proposal submission requirements/materials.


Please submit your proposal, abstract and budget through the RAMP Mentor Project Proposal Online Application by Monday, August 1st,2022 at 5pm PST/8pm EST.

In addition to submitting project proposals for the general RAMP Program, there are other opportunities to be involved with the RAMP Scholar program through guest lectures, RAMP Review Board and manuscript workshops. Please complete the mentorship interest survey below to be added to the contact list: Mentorship Interest Survey


Access the Mentor Project Proposal application.

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