The Drew Center for AIDS Research, Education and Services (Drew CARES) at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science provides a unique and comprehensive approach to confronting HIV/AIDS. We combine research, community outreach programs and clinical services in culturally-appropriate ways to help communities in need. Our commitment to working with underserved populations to reduce health disparities starts in South Los Angeles and extends as far as sub-Saharan Africa.
We are based at Charles R. Drew University in South Los Angeles, where the population is 95% African American or Latino, and nearly 60% of residents live in poverty. Prior to the establishment of HIV/AIDS services here in 1985, many people in South Los Angeles were forced to seek services at distant providers or to forego care altogether. By delivering a wide range of HIV services, Drew CARES improves access to care and health outcomes among African Americans and Latinos, as well as gay, lesbian and transgender individuals of all races. Clients receive high-quality medical care, mental health care, case management and substance abuse treatment, among other much-needed HIV-related services. Equally as important, we have nurtured a vibrant, active and supportive community of people living with HIV in South Los Angeles.
Our research advances the understanding of behavioral and cultural aspects of HIV/AIDS prevention and care, tests emerging treatments and examines the cellular mechanisms of HIV and related conditions. Our international research programs help equip our global partners in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world with effective tools to combat HIV.
Our education and training programs increase the HIV knowledge of healthcare providers, social workers and researchers while improving the quality of the HIV-related services they provide. For well over a decade, interns and students trained by Drew CARES have taken leadership positions in other HIV service organizations. Our education efforts also extend to local communities through educational forums on HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and other HIV-related topics.