The Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services (CHIPTS) is a collaboration of leading scientists from UCLA, Charles R. Drew University, Friends Research Institute, and RAND Corporation. CHIPTS' research agenda incorporates advances in HIV prevention science using combination antiretroviral therapy for those living with HIV and prophylactic antiretrovirals (ARVs) for high-risk HIV-negative individuals. Yet in key populations (e.g., young MSM of color, transgender, homeless, incarcerated, African American women), especially those with concurrent substance use and mental health disorders, barriers prevent access and adherence required to benefit from ARVs. CHIPTS will bridge these gaps with a plan to promote research, dissemination and training on treatment as prevention (TasP) in HIV-positive individuals and HIV prevention that integrates ARVs for high-risk, HIV-negative individuals (pre-exposure prophylaxis, PrEP), with emphasis on those with substance use and mental health disorders. CHIPTS has three specific aims. (1) SCIENCE: To promote novel, high impact and transformational research to eliminate barriers and to increase uptake, adherence, and persistence across the HIV prevention, care and policy continua. We study behavioral, biomedical, technological and structural approaches at individual, family, community, and policy impact levels that will stop new HIV infections, particularly in key populations. (2) NETWORKING: To sponsor meetings and provide venues for collaboration among scientists, providers, insurers, policy makers and stakeholders to accelerate uptake of high impact HIV prevention. (3) CAPACITY BUILDING: To mentor and train researchers, policy makers, providers, community leaders and staff members in health, criminal justice, social service, and administrative systems to reach HIV prevention goals for 90-90-90 by 2020. Our efforts are conducted domestically and globally. CHIPTS is comprised of five Cores. (1) Administrative Core leads CHIPTS interdisciplinary team, convenes center meetings and coordinates science, networking and capacity building agendas at local, state, national, and international levels. It ensures financial and scientific integrity, leads strategic planning and promotes a Global HIV Prevention Strategies Program. (2) Development Core invests in innovative, early stage research, supports emerging investigators and promotes dissemination events. (3) Combination Prevention Core promotes research on combination behavioral, biomedical, technological and structural interventions to reduce HIV incidence and to improve viral suppression, especially in key populations and those with substance use and mental health disorders. (4) Methods Core guides innovation and impact in measurement, statistical methods, and implementation science, focusing on factors presented by those with substance use and mental health disorders. (5) Policy Impact Core optimizes public health impact and science implementation by providing evidence on policy options to guide HIV prevention policy.
Los Angeles has the second highest number of AIDS cases nationally and has one of the most ethnically diverse epidemics. Exciting developments in HIV prevention science have shifted the fight against new HIV infections from a lack of available effective interventions to a lack of will. The UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services (CHIPTS) mobilizes world class leaders in the areas of science, networking and capacity building to lead the HIV prevention agenda both domestically and internationally.
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