Drew Center for AIDS Research, Education, and Service - Research Programs

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.

Reducing HIV Risk Behaviors and Psychosocial Stressors among Bisexual African American Men; Also known as the Men of African American Legacy Empowering Self or 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. The intervention is based on elements of the Critical Thinking and Cultural Affirmation (CTCA) intervention developed by Cleo Manago and the theory of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior developed by Icek Ajzen and Martin Fishbein. It involves six two-hour group sessions held over a three-week period. To determine the intervention's effectiveness, participants will be interviewed prior to participation, immediately after the intervention, and three months after completion. Participants will be compared to a group of men who receive a standard HIV risk-reduction counseling session and are interviewed at similar intervals.

Making the Link: Examining Associations between Sociocultural Stressors, Psychological Symptoms, and Biological Outcomes among Black Men Who Have Sex with Men and Women
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
A randomized trial 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 WOMENReducing HIV Risk Behaviors and Increasing Sexual Communication Skills in African American Women with At-Risk Male Partners (FeMAALES Project see: http://www.femaales.org/ )
This study tests an innovative small-group and social media HIV prevention program for African American women. The randomized controlled trial will assess changes in behavior associated with three conditions: the new program, an existing homegrown intervention program, and a basic STD prevention/family planning counseling (control condition).

Understanding Female Partners of Bisexual Men: Implications for HIV/STD Risk in Women of Color. Secondary data analysis and qualitative interviews 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.

Research to Better Engage HIV+ Former Prisoners in HIV Medical Services
The major goals of this pilot project are to: 1) identify the most commonly experienced needs and barriers to medical care, 2) identify key differences in background characteristics and barriers between those who are and are not retained in care; and 3) identify key motivators and other factors that may promote linkage to and retention in HIV medical care among HIV-positive former prisoners
Please note: 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.
Contact Dr. Nina Harawa at (323) 563-5899 or ninaharawa@cdrewu.edu for more information.

LA County PATH: PrEP and TLC+ for HIV Prevention
The overarching goal is to implement a coordinated response to the local HIV/AIDS epidemic through a set of innovative, evidence-based interventions across the continuum of HIV prevention and care, targeting individuals and communities at highest risk of and affected by HIV. CDU is in engaged the clinical trial portion of this CHRP-funded initiative that includes preexposure prophylaxis and a customized prevention package for high-risk men who have sex with men and male-to-female transgenders.
Contact Jordan, Wilbert at (310) 761-8444 or wjordan@cdrewu.edu for more information.

The Charles R. 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 R. 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 R. 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 PROJECTThe Dolls of Hope Project evolved out of a 1998 World AIDS Day Program initiated by faculty member Cynthia Davis of Charles R. 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 Program Director Cynthia Davis, MPH at (323) 563-9309 or cynthiadavis@cdrewu.edu for more information.