The purpose of the proposed Mentored Scientist Career Development Award (K01) is to provide the candidate with mentoring and research experiences that will promote his development as an independent researcher, with particular emphasis in operations and translational research of evidence based (EB) HIV prevention behavioral interventions among vulnerable populations. The objectives of the training are to develop knowledge and skills in: 1) qualitative and mixed methods research to understand the decision-making process among policy makers as it relates to HIV prevention policies;2) expertise in operations research of EB HIV prevention intervention in international settings;3) advanced methods for cost-effectiveness analysis;4) theory-driven behavioral HIV prevention interventions among vulnerable populations and 5) additional training in the ethical conduct of research among vulnerable populations. Training activities will include didactic coursework and specific workshops, directed readings and one-on-one tutorials with mentors. The candidate will receive mentorship from a training committee comprised of internationally renowned experts in the fields of translational research, behavioral science, and mixed methods research at the University of California San Diego.
The specific aims of the proposed research are to: 1) qualitatively describe policy makers'perspectives vis-`-vis institutional, political, cultural and individual factors that facilitate or impede the use of economic evaluation research in translating EB behavioral interventions into health policy;2) To quantitatively characterize Mexican government and community based organizations (CBO) policy-makers'knowledge, attitudes and the experience of translating results from economic evaluation research into policy decisions;3) To estimate the programmatic cost-effectiveness of the Mujer Segura behavioral intervention, shown to reduce HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among female sex workers (FSWs) in Mexico during the large scale implementation process compared to current Mexican HIV/STI prevention guidelines.
The research aims will be accomplished by conducting a mixed methods research study. Quantitative data will be drawn from the operations costs and health outcomes of the upscale implementation of an efficacious intervention (Mujer Segura) among 960 FSWs in twelve different cities in Mexico (National Institute of Mental Health grant titled: "Implementation of an efficacious intervention for Female Sex Workers in Mexico";R01MH08754;PI: Patterson;Co-I: Dr. Strathdee). Qualitative data will be collected from in-depth interviews of a sample of 40 policy makers from governmental institutions and CBOs involved in HIV prevention in Mexico. Findings from the proposed research will position the candidate to propose an R01 proposal for in depth study of HIV policy maker's decision making process in HIV translation. Moreover, the candidate's binational and ethnic minority background combined with the proposed training and research will support a career trajectory focused on vulnerable, underserved populations at risk for HIV infection.

Public Health Relevance

This project seeks to determine the programmatic cost-effectiveness of the upscale implementation a brief, single session counseling session (called "Mujer Segura") that has been proven efficacious in controlled trials in reducing HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among female sex workers who work in Mexican cities along the U.S. border. This project will use a mixed methods design incorporating both quantitative and qualitative methods to study Mexican policy-marker's beliefs, attitudes and knowledge about the use of economic evaluation studies in the health policy decision making process from both the public and private sectors to inform the proposed cost-effectiveness analysis. Developing skills in mixed methods HIV translational research will uniquely position the candidate as one of a handful of researchers in economic evaluation research with expertise in applying mixed methods to HIV prevention translational research and international research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Behavioral and Social Science Approaches to Preventing HIV/AIDS Study Section (BSPH)
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Pequegnat, Willo
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University of California San Diego
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
La Jolla
United States
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Muñoz, Fátima; Burgos, José Luis; Cuevas-Mota, Jazmine et al. (2015) Individual and socio-environmental factors associated with unsafe injection practices among young adult injection drug users in San Diego. AIDS Behav 19:199-210
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Pinedo, Miguel; Burgos, José Luis; Robertson, Angela M et al. (2014) Perceived risk of HIV infection among deported male injection drug users in Tijuana, Mexico. Glob Public Health 9:436-54
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