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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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; 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
Gandhi, Monica; Johnson, Mallory (2016) Creating More Effective Mentors: Mentoring the Mentor. AIDS Behav 20 Suppl 2:294-303
Gamarel, Kristi E; Comfort, Megan; Wood, Troy et al. (2016) A qualitative analysis of male couples' coping with HIV: Disentangling the ""we"". J Health Psychol 21:2125-37
Conroy, Amy A; Gamarel, Kristi E; Neilands, Torsten B et al. (2016) Relationship Dynamics and Partner Beliefs About Viral Suppression: A Longitudinal Study of Male Couples Living with HIV/AIDS (The Duo Project). AIDS Behav 20:1572-83
Woolf-King, Sarah E; Muyindike, Winnie; Hobbs, Marcia M et al. (2016) Vaginal Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Is a Useful Biomarker of Semen Exposure Among HIV-Infected Ugandan Women. AIDS Behav :
Sauceda, John A; Johnson, Mallory O; Saberi, Parya (2016) Nonadherence as 4-day Antiretroviral Therapy Interruptions: Do Depression and Race/Ethnicity Matter as Much in the Modern Antiretroviral Therapy Era? AIDS Behav 20:2624-2628
Kamen, Charles; Mustian, Karen; Johnson, Mallory O et al. (2015) Same-sex couples matter in cancer care. J Oncol Pract 11:e212-5
Saberi, Parya; Johnson, Mallory O (2015) Moving toward a novel and comprehensive behavioral composite of engagement in HIV care. AIDS Care 27:660-4
Carrico, Adam W; Nation, Austin; Gómez, Walter et al. (2015) Pilot trial of an expressive writing intervention with HIV-positive methamphetamine-using men who have sex with men. Psychol Addict Behav 29:277-82
Johnson, Mallory O; Gandhi, Monica (2015) A mentor training program improves mentoring competency for researchers working with early-career investigators from underrepresented backgrounds. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract 20:683-9

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