The Pilot Project Component (PPC) supports interdisciplinary, collaborative research by providing pilot funding for new initiatives or feasibility projects among early career investigators and more senior investigators who are expanding their existing programs of research to incorporate a new focus on alcohol or HIV. The PPC will support 4 Pilot Projects that have already been reviewed and selected for funding, as well as additional future pilot projects to be solicited and funded in years 2-5. Projects tied to the Central Theme ofthe CARC, which emphasizes interrelations among alcohol, HIV, liver function, neurocognitive function, medication adherence, and high-risk sexual behavior, will be given highest priority. The four initial Pilot Projects include: Pilot 1: Barry Lester, Ph.D. "Prenatal Exposure to Antiretrovirai Therapy and Alcohol: Newborn Neurobehavior". This Pilot will examine the relationship between prenatal exposure to varying levels of alcohol and neurobehavioral deficits in infants also prenatally exposed to antiretrovirai therapy. Pilot 2: Tara White, Ph.D. "Imaging Functional Alcohol Effects in HIV". This Pilot will be conducted in a subset of patients recruited from Research Component 2, with functional brain ROIs analyzed with regard to the impact of alcohol and HIV on functional brain responses to an acute dose of alcohol over the biphasic time course of its effects. Pilot 3: Jack Wands, MD, "Molecular Characteristics of Occult HBV Strains from H1V+ Women with Alcohol Abuse". This Pilot aims to provide molecular virologic information on the impact of occult hepatitis B infection and alcohol on the process of progressive severe liver disease in women with chronic HIV infection. Pilot 4: Susan Kiene, Ph.D. "Alcohol and HIV Risk-taking among Fishermen and Commercial Sex Workers in Uganda". This Pilot uses formative research to understand the dynamics and social situations that facilitate alcohol and sexual risk behavior, identify communication methods that effectively reach the target populations and facilitate community participation in the dissemination of health messages.
The Pilot Project Component (PPC) responsible for the solicitation, review, funding, tracking, and evaluation of Pilot Projects for the CARC. The PPC advances the CARC mission to understand biobehavioral interactions between alcohol and HIV and to develop interventions for heavy alcohol use in the context of HIV infection by funding pilot projects consistent with these Center goals.
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