The purpose of this K24 application is to support the continuation and proposed expansions of Dr. Mallory Johnson's programs of mentoring and patient-oriented research (POR) in social and behavioral approaches to optimizing engagement in HIV care among drug-using populations. The candidate proposes new mentoring, new research, and additional training to build competency in drug abuse research, HCV and liver disease, and advanced research methodologies. The proposed plan for mentoring expands his current mentoring program in new directions, including an innovative grand mentoring program, new sources of mentees, development of online team-based mentoring tools, and scholarship in best practices of mentoring. These plans emphasize the importance of addressing challenges to successful transition to independence during periods of budgetary constraint through the leveraging and strategic use of data, infrastructure, and expertise available through existing NIH-funded research networks, training programs, and funding mechanisms.
Three aims for new research are proposed, which will provide data for future interventions to improve health care empowerment and clinical outcomes for populations at risk for suboptimal engagement in HIV care, including HIV-infected substance users (men, women, and transgender women) and HIV/HCV co-infected women. These POR activities will be conducted within the infrastructure of the Women's Interagency Health Study (WIHS), the CFAR Network of Integrated Clinical Systems (CNICS) and a cohort of transgender women led by one of the candidate's mentees. The overriding theme of the new POR is to investigate the challenges of engagement in care and uptake, persistence, and adherence, to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among populations at greatest risk for poor treatment outcomes. These POR activities will involve active participation by mentees and will complement their development plans and transitions to independence. All of the new aims will be framed in the Model of Health Care Empowerment and will provide preliminary data for subsequent observational and interventional studies of engagement in care. Through the efficient leveraging of existing resources, collaborations, data, and affiliations with NIH-funded networks, the overarching goal of this application is to support the development of early career investigators, new mentors, and to provide opportunities for my own training/competency-building, and to catalyze new projects in the area of engagement in HIV care among at- risk populations.

Public Health Relevance

Active engagement in clinical care and high levels of ART adherence allow people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives. However, marginalized populations such as substance users, sexual minorities, transgender persons, racial and ethnic minorities, those with mental illness, and those with unstable housing are more adversely impacted by the challenges of accessing and adhering to treatment and staying in care. The proposed funding will support the continued and expanded mentoring of early career investigators from diverse disciplines, and novel research on engagement in care among vulnerable populations.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24)
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Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Aklin, Will
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University of California San Francisco
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
San Francisco
United States
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Conroy, Amy A; McKenna, Stacey A; Leddy, Anna et al. (2017) ""If She is Drunk, I Don't Want Her to Take it"": Partner Beliefs and Influence on Use of Alcohol and Antiretroviral Therapy in South African Couples. AIDS Behav 21:1885-1891
Saberi, Parya; Neilands, Torsten B; Ming, Kristin et al. (2017) Strong Correlation Between Concentrations of Antiretrovirals in Home-Collected and Study-Collected Hair Samples: Implications for Adherence Monitoring. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 76:e101-e103
Webel, Allison R; Perazzo, Joseph D; Dawson-Rose, Carol et al. (2017) A multinational qualitative investigation of the perspectives and drivers of exercise and dietary behaviors in people living with HIV. Appl Nurs Res 37:13-18
Gamarel, Kristi E; Neilands, Torsten B; Conroy, Amy A et al. (2017) A longitudinal study of persistent smoking among HIV-positive gay and bisexual men in primary relationships. Addict Behav 66:118-124
Sauceda, John A; Neilands, Torsten B; Johnson, Mallory O et al. (2017) An update on the Barriers to Adherence and a Definition of Self-Report Non-adherence Given Advancements in Antiretroviral Therapy (ART). AIDS Behav :
Johnson, Mallory O; Koester, Kimberly A; Wood, Troy et al. (2017) Development of an Index of Engagement in HIV Care: An Adapted Internet-Based Delphi Process. JMIR Res Protoc 6:e224
Camlin, Carol S; El Ayadi, Alison M; Kwena, Zachary A et al. (2017) High Mobility and HIV Prevalence Among Female Market Traders in East Africa in 2014. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 74:e121-e128
Woolf-King, Sarah E; Muyindike, Winnie; Hobbs, Marcia M et al. (2017) Vaginal Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Is a Useful Biomarker of Semen Exposure Among HIV-Infected Ugandan Women. AIDS Behav 21:2141-2146
Conroy, Amy; Leddy, Anna; Johnson, Mallory et al. (2017) 'I told her this is your life': relationship dynamics, partner support and adherence to antiretroviral therapy among South African couples. Cult Health Sex 19:1239-1253
Conroy, Amy A; Gamarel, Kristi E; Neilands, Torsten B et al. (2016) Partner Reports of HIV Viral Suppression Predict Sexual Behavior in Serodiscordant Male Couples. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 73:e31-3

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