Domestic initiatives include studies to test the efficacy of new interventions for at-risk African American men and women, to examine the epidemiology of potentially risky sexually partnerships in older adults, and to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of in-custody condom distribution programs. These studies are designed to shift paradigms in HIV prevention by using comprehensive and community-based approaches to address health disparities, incorporating culture into the development and implementation of interventions, and providing relevant policy data to inform potential structural interventions.
Funding sources include the California HIV/AIDS Research Program, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and the National Institute of Aging. Our community partners include JWCH Institute, Inc., AmASSI Health and Cultural Center, Palms Residential Care Facility, and the Center for Health Justice. Our academic partners include UCLA, and California State Dominguez Hills.
African American Men
Reducing HIV Risk Behaviors and Psychosocial Stressors among Bisexual African American Men (MAALES Project)
Randomized control trial to test the efficacy of a newly developed and culturally centered HIV prevention intervention with African American men who report both male and female sex partners.
Making the Link: Examining Associations between Sociocultural Stressors, Psychological Symptoms, and Biological Outcomes among Black Men Who Have Sex with Men and Women (MSM/W)
This is a pilot study to examine associations between racism, homophobia, socioeconomic pressures, psychological indicators of stress and distress, and allostatic load among behaviorally bisexual African American men.
The Health Justice MILE HIV Prevention Intervention for Post-Incarcerated Bisexual African American Men
To evaluate the effectiveness of the Men in Life Environments (MILE) Intervention, for recently incarcerated bisexual African American men, adapted from the MAALES Project
African American and Latina Women
Reducing HIV Risk Behaviors and Increasing Sexual Communication Skills in African American Women with At-Risk Male Partners (FeMAALES Project)
This study will develop and test a new group-level HIV intervention program for African American women. The randomized controlled trial will assess changes in behavior associated with three conditions: the new program, an existing HIV intervention that is not ethnic or gender specific, and a waitlisted control condition.
Understanding Female Partners of Bisexual Men: Implications for HIV/STD Risk in Women of Color
To examine behavioral, psychosocial, and healthcare-related factors associated with sex with bisexual men in African American and Latina clients of publicly funded HIV testing sites.
Analysis of the Impact of Condom Distribution Policies in Prison or Jail Settings on Transmission, Risk Behaviors and Services for Persons with HIV
Analyze condom distribution, transmission, and risk behaviors among incarcerated men. Model the impact of condom distribution programs in jails on cost of HIV infection to society. Evaluate the impacts of condom distribution programs on jail management and safety.
Other research/policy work in this area involves identifying efficient HIV testing strategies for incarcerated populations and examining the effect of incarceration on sexual risk behaviors among MSM.
Unstable Sexual Partnerships in Older Adults: Exploring Racial and Gender Disparities in Potential HIV/STD Risk and Prevention
Secondary analyses of Wave 1 of the National Social Life Health & Aging Project -- a survey of US adults ages 57-85 years -- to quantify the extent of racial/ethnic disparities in potentially risky sexual partnerships and their possible implications for HIV and STD risk and testing in older adults.
Contact: Nina Harawa
HIV/AIDS Education and Outreach Projects
The Charles Drew University HIV/AIDS Education and Outreach Projects’ goals and objectives are to provide HIV/AIDS-related Health Education and Risk Reduction (HERR) interventions targeting medically underserved and at risk ethnic minorities residing in Los Angels County, with a special focus in South Los Angeles. This project was instituted in 1984 with funding from the Los Angeles County Office of AIDS Programs and Policy. The project’s curriculum includes information on the prevention of HIV transmission, HIV epidemiology, Safer Sex, STDs, the Impact of Bisexuality on the spread of HIV, and Identification of Community Resources for people living with HIV/AIDS and/or affected by HIV/AIDS. Educational interventions are tailored for the specific target populations being served including school-age youth, heterosexual men and women, and gay and bisexual men. This project is engaged in extensive community mobilization and outreach activities throughout Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire.
Drew University HIV Mobile Testing and Outreach Project
The Charles Drew University HIV Mobile Testing and Outreach Project was the first dedicated HIV mobile testing and outreach project funded by the Los Angeles County Office of AIDS Programs and Policy (OAPP) in 1992. The goal of the project was to provide free HIV screening, counseling and/or referral services targeting medically underserved and at risk ethnic minority populations residing in Los Angeles County. The project was so successful, that OAPP replicated the project in 1993 and funded six additional mobile HIV testing vans. The Charles Drew University HIV/AIDS Mobile Testing and Outreach Project is in it’s sixteenth year of operation and has provided HIV screening, counseling, and/or referral services to over 60,000 individuals. The project staff travel to designated sites on a daily basis throughout Los Angeles County offering free HIV rapid testing, whereby clients can obtain their HIV test results in 20 to 40 minutes. The project also offers free HIV rapid testing at their office site in Lynwood, California.
Transitional Case Management Program (TCMP)
The Charles Drew University HIV/AIDS Education and Outreach Projects are engaged in a partnership with the Coalition of Mental Health Professionals, Inc. to provide free transitional case management services targeting recent parolees of Department of Corrections for the State of California who are HIV positive and are being released into Los Angeles County. The Coalition of Mental Health Professionals, Inc. is the lead agency on this two-year contract and Charles Drew University is the lead subcontracting agency. The collaborative has four full-time Case Managers and their offices are located at the Coalition of Mental Health Professional, Inc. and Charles Drew University. The four Case Managers travel weekly to several State Department of Corrections prison sites in Northern and Southern California and see HIV positive clients who will be paroled within 120 days. The Case Mangers meet with their clients while still in prison and sign them up for the TCMP program which is voluntary. Once paroled from prison, the HIV positive clients who signed up for the services are followed for 90 days and are helped with finding permanent housing, as well as permanent medical services and a long term Case Manager. Other support services are also provided to these clients, including referrals for benefits counseling, job placement, emergency and temporary housing, substance abuse prevention counseling and risk reduction interventions, support groups, mental health counseling, and transportation tokens and/or taxi vouchers are made available to clients needing transportation services. The project has bilingual and bicultural staff in order to meet the needs of the culturally diverse population of clients residing in Los Angeles County.
Dolls of Hope Project
The Dolls of Hope Project evolved out of a 1998 World AIDS Day Program initiated by faculty member Cynthia Davis of Charles Drew University. In this project, staff and volunteers make handmade cloth dolls for AIDS orphans and/or women, children and/or youth impacted by HIV/AIDS. To date over 6,000 Dolls of Hope have been distributed to agencies locally, statewide, nationally, and abroad. The Dolls of Hope project’s primary goal is to “Break the Silence” surrounding HIV/AIDS in ethnic minority and underserved at risk communities on a local and international basis. Ms. Davis has presented Dolls of Hope workshops at two International AIDS conferences: in Durban, South Africa in 2000 and in Bangkok, Thailand in 2004. Dolls of Hope have been distributed to local AIDS Service Organizations and/or NGOs in the following countries: United States, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Senegal, Brazil, Honduras, Cuba, Mexico, and India.
Contact: Cynthia Davis
ICHR (Institute of Community Health Research)
The Institute for Community Health Research (ICHR) is a collaborative research group of Charles Drew University, RAND Corporation, and LA County Department of Public Health researchers who focuses on conducting, analyzing and disseminating research to understand and reduce disparities in HIV/AIDS care and prevention in Los Angeles County. Funded by the California HIV/AIDS Research Program, the aim of ICHR is to conduct community-informed public health inquiry on the influence of community context and of social support networks. ICHR supports two major studies entitled “Spatial Distribution of HIV Risks and Service Access Patterns in Los Angeles County” and “Impact of Social Support Networks on Engagement in HIV Care among Publicly Insured Latinos and African Americans in Los Angeles County”
The Spatial Distribution project aims to estimate the spatial distributions of HIV/AIDS risk factors, identify patterns of access to various HIV/AIDS-related services, and evaluate the spatial equity of HIV/AIDS prevention services in Los Angeles County. By improving the spatial understanding of these factors the study seeks to provide critical information for HIV-prevention planning efforts for racial and ethnic minority communities where the need for services appears to be higher. This Social Support Networks study uses qualitative and quantitative methods to assess the impact of social support networks on engagement in HIV care among publicly insured Latinos and African Americans in LA County. This will be accomplished through the collection and analysis of data from in-depth qualitative interviews with 24 HIV-positive patients and a quantitative survey with 400 HIV-positive patients.
In addition ICHR strives to stimulate interest in HIV research among junior investigators through pilot grants for innovative research proposals, training programs and colloquia series on cutting edge research methods. Furthermore, ICHR organizes think tanks that bring leading scientists from various institutions across the country together to explore innovative methodologies to promote HIV prevention, care and treatment within underserved communities.
CHIPTS (The Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment
The Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services focuses all its resources and intellectual capital on leveraging world class science to combat HIV around the globe. We do this in collaboration with communities impacted by the pandemic and with world renowned investigators from UCLA, Charles Drew University (CDU) RAND Corporation (RAND), Friends Research Institute (Friends) and other research and community partners in the U.S. and abroad.
The Center is organized in Core groups, each one of which concentrates on a singular aspect of the worldwide battle against the HIV pandemic. These Cores include:
CHIPTS scientists are recognized as world leaders in HIV research and are active participants in the field. They have secured millions of dollars in grants to pursue new responses to the HIV pandemic. Their findings and strategies have been published in top scientific and medical journals. Under the auspices of CHIPTS Cores, the work of CHIPTS scientists is finding practical application and measurable success in diverse communities in the United States and around the globe.
CONTACT: Frank Galvan