Our Mission: The CDU HIV Cluster is a multidisciplinary group dedicated to ensuring excellence in HIV education, research and service provision for underserved communities, both locally and internationally. We will accomplish this by stimulating new ideas, supporting the efforts of its members, and coordinating and representing CDU’s activities in HIV.
Please meet our HIV Cluster members of the CDU Faculty:
Nina T. Harawa, PhD, MPH currently leads the Charles R. Drew University (CDU) of Medicine and Science HIV Cluster. She is an Associate Professor in the CDU Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Trained in Epidemiology, her research involves understanding trends in HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and developing effective, culturally relevant interventions. She has conducted innovative research in a variety of populations – including high-risk African American men, sexually active African American and Latina women, older adults, and incarcerated and post-incarcerated men and women.
Curley L. Bonds, MD is the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU). Dr. Bonds is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Fellow of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine. He is the Medical Director for Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services in Los Angeles. He earned a BA in sociology from Emory University and then went on to Indiana University School of Medicine to earn his MD degree. He completed a residency in adult psychiatry at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.
Dr. Bonds remained on the fulltime faculty at UCLA from 1996-2005, where he served as the Director of the Consultation and Evaluation Service for the UCLA Center for Health Sciences. He holds joint appointments as Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA and as a Professor of Psychiatry at CDU. Dr. Bonds has also worked as a supervising psychiatrist for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health where he was the Director of Quality, Academics, and Research at the LA County Jail Mental Health Program. His practice and research interests include psychosomatic medicine community psychiatry, and eliminating cultural disparities in psychiatric care. Curley
Derrick Butler, MD, MPH is a Family Medicine Physician and HIV Specialist practicing in South Central Los Angeles. He received his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco. He currently serves as Associate Medical Director at the T.H.E. Clinic, a long standing federally qualified community health center and is the director of T.H.E Clinic’s HIV Program. He also serves as Assistant Professor with the Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center at Charles Drew University. Dr. Butler is focused on addressing the current HIV/AIDS epidemic and the health disparities of urban populations. With an additional interest in international health, Dr. Butler has also lived in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer and participated in medical missions in various parts of Africa.
Cynthia Davis, MPH is an Assistant Professor and Program Director in the College of Medicine and College of Science and Health at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. Professor Davis received her MPH degree from the UCLA School of Public Health in 1981. Professor Davis is responsible for the planning, coordination, and evaluation of several HIV/AIDS-related programs including the CDU Mobile HIV Testing and Community Outreach Program targeting at risk medically underserved populations residing in South Los Angeles.
Professor Davis was instrumental in the development of the first mobile HIV testing and community outreach project initiated in Los Angeles County in 1991. Since 1991, the CDU HIV Mobile Testing and Community Outreach Projects have provided free HIV screening services to over 60,000 Los Angeles County residents. Professor Davis has been an advocate for increased primary prevention services targeting women and youth in South Los Angeles and over the past 32 years has been actively engaged in facilitating HIV/AIDS education and risk reduction primary prevention services targeting women, sexually active youth and adults, runaway and homeless youth, and young men who have sex with men.
Homero del Pino, PhD is an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and Adjunct Professor in Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He received his PhD in philosophy and MS in clinical research, both at UCLA. His research interests lie at the intersection of the health and social challenges faced by gay men of color, such as disproportionate rates of HIV morbidity and mortality; alcohol and substance use; aging; stigma; and social support, particularly family relationships. His interdisciplinary background enables him to draw upon philosophy and clinical research—conceptual and empirical analysis— to address health disparities within a social justice context. He is also interested in bioethics and global health ethics.
Charles L. Hilliard, PhD is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, where he oversees both domestic and international HIV programs and research. Locally he is the Clinical Director of SPECTRUM Community Services and Research, a community mental health center in South Los Angeles that partners with other CDU based programs in serving individuals living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Internationally he is the Principal Investigator of a HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care program in Rwanda funded by the U.S. Department of Defense/PEPFAR.
Eric Houston, PhD is a clinical psychologist with research interests focusing on the role of cognitive processes and psychosocial distress as factors in health disparities related to HIV. Much of his recent work examines how technology can be used to strengthen our understanding of these factors and address their impact through interventions aimed at promoting engagement with HIV care and treatment adherence among patients who are lost to follow up or are vulnerable to dropping out of care. Dr. Houston has served as principal investigator for a web-based pilot study designed to reach these patients and was principal evaluator for a community-based intervention aimed at promoting the health status of young African-American MSM living with HIV. His research has been published in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals and presented at national conferences
Wilbert Jordan, MD is the Director of the OASIS Clinic and AIDS Program. I treated my first patient in 1979, and in 1981 called him for follow-up, saying I know what you have. Thus, I have been involved in HIV from the beginning. That includes three terms on the original Los Angeles county Commission on AIDS, which chaired for two years; and being involved with the original HIV Planning Council and the subsequent merger with the Commission. Outreach has been a long term interest, I developed the Focused Intervention model in 1986. It has been used by GSK as its Act4Life national campaign, as well as being cited by CDC and HRSA. Because of this model, we continue to see 1- - 12 new clients per months, and many with CD4 counts above 400.
Further interests include expanding services for adolescents and transgender clients and further developing our community advisory boards. The latter will be composed of a Women’s group, a Transgender support group and the Adolescent support group, and the Client advisory Committee. All have been established and are meeting. My participation on a national level includes consultants to several pharmaceutical companies; having termed off the DHHS Guidelines Committee; being on a CDC advisory committee for outreach to Black MSM's and being PI to three CDC sponsored projects with the National Medical Association. Locally that translate into me sending letters to 4400 local primary care providers asking them to test their patients for HIV. Through this we have identified 23 - 104 patients annually. These are insured. A project to identify the un-insured involves identifying the zip codes with the highest rates of HIV, STD, and teenage pregnancy in the Second District, then mapping out those zip codes and having effective outreach/testing programs in those areas.
David P. Lee, MSW, MPH is a Community Faculty member here at Charles R. Drew University and currently serves as the UCLA/OASIS Clinic PATH PrEP Project Director, overseeing an HIV biomedical prevention project. He also serves as the Ryan White Part C Program Director for OASIS Clinic. He previously lived in Lima, Peru, where he studied Spanish and worked at a large NGO coordinating U.S. government grant writing activities focusing on HIV research and training and also served as a training advisor and mentor for international scholars. He has worked with the HIV Vaccine Trials Network at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle where has was actively involved in developing and implementing that organization’s first vaccine study.
Eva McGhee, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cancer Research And Training, And HIV Cluster Member, at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine And Science (CDU). Dr. McGhee obtained her Ph.D. in Cellular Immunogenetics from The University of Kansas. Dr. McGhee completed Her Postdoctoral Training at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) In Molecular Cancer Genetics, and a Medical Genetics Fellowship in Clinical Cytogenetics, and Clinical Molecular Genetics at UCSF/Stanford University.
Charles McWells, BA earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Claremont McKenna College. Diagnosed with AIDS in 1996, Mr. McWells has spent the past eighteen years advocating for persons living with or at risk of becoming infecting with HIV/AIDS. Since 2010, he has been an Instructor with the Community Faculty Program at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. He is currently the Program Manager for the At-Risk Men’s Services program at the Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse (L.A. CADA), as well as the Project Director/Co-Principal Investigator of L.A. CADA’s Passport to Wellness program. He is also the Principal Investigator of a National Institute of Health cancer grant study that is exploring the feasibility of smoking cessation programs tailored for Black same-gender-loving HIV positive men. McWells is also Co-Host of The Good News Radio Magazine, a weekly broadcast which features interviews with healthcare professionals, clinical researchers, faith-based leaders and community advocates.
Ekow Kwa Sey, PhD is a Supervising Epidemiologist at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Assistant Professor at Charles R. Drew University. Dr. Sey was born and raised in Ghana. After studying at the United World College of the Atlantic (Wales, U.K.) on a Prince of Wales Scholarship, Dr. Sey attended Wesleyan University in Middletown Connecticut, where he majored in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Dr. Sey completed an MPH in Epidemiology and a PhD in Public Health at the UCLA School of Public Health. He has over 15 years of experience working in Public Health. His research interests include behavioral and serologic surveillance, variant, atypical and resistant HIV strains, HIV prevention in priority population and economic evaluations of health programs.
For more information, please contact:
HIV Cluster Coordinator:
Jason McCuller, MA