The overarching theme of the Penn Mental Health AIDS Research Center (PMHARC) at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is to transform how individuals with comorbid mental illness/AIDS are treated and managed by developing innovative, interdisciplinary, and integrative approaches to optimize psychiatric, behavioral, and medical outcomes and achieving a better understanding of the biological, psychological, and behavioral mechanisms underlying these combined illnesses and treatments. No other center in the U.S. is currently pursuing this explicit focus, making PMHARC unique in the NIMH ARC portfolio. A substantial body of work links psychiatric disorders to acquisition of HIV infection, accelerated immune dysfunction, poor access to HIV care, and poor adherence to antiretroviral treatment once in care. Yet, there is a relative paucity of evidence-based interventions focused on the combined treatment of mental illness/AIDS and related medical co-morbidities, and relatively little work in determining the relationships between mental health treatment and HIV/AIDS disease and understanding the underlying biology. PMHARC will stimulate novel approaches and strategies to address these problems by providing mentoring and resource support for both new and established investigators choosing to study comorbid mental illness/AIDS, in part through innovative pilot studies. PMHARC's leadership has extensive expertise in contemporary pharmacotherapy of mental illness and AIDS, cognitive behavioral treatments, and theory-based behavioral interventions. PMHARC will extend well-established collaborations at Penn and CHOP, including those in the Department of Psychiatry and the CFAR, as well as with the CTSA/CTRC, the Delaney Collaboratory, and community partners in Philadelphia. A unique feature of PMHARC is the collaboration of well- established mental health AIDS researchers, well-established mental health researchers who have not previously studied AIDS, well-established substance abuse AIDS researchers who have not previously studied mental health, and AIDS researchers not previously focused on mental health. PMHARC has an Administrative and Developmental Core, and four Shared Resource Cores.

Public Health Relevance

Overview Relevance: A growing body of research documents that persons with mental illness are at increased risk for contracting and transmitting HIV, and there are few evidence-based practices supporting treatment of persons with mental illnesses who are also HIV seropositive. Poor treatment outcomes and non-adherence pose a major public health threat due to poor individual outcomes and increased transmissibility and secondary infections. Thus, improving treatments for persons with these comorbid conditions has major public health significance.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Center Core Grants (P30)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1)
Program Officer
Gordon, Christopher M
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Pennsylvania
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Crits-Christoph, Paul; Gallop, Robert; Noll, Elizabeth et al. (2018) Impact of a medical home model on costs and utilization among comorbid HIV-positive Medicaid patients. Am J Manag Care 24:368-375
Merlin, Jessica S; Long, Dustin; Becker, William C et al. (2018) Brief Report: The Association of Chronic Pain and Long-Term Opioid Therapy With HIV Treatment Outcomes. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 79:77-82
Momplaisir, Florence M; Aaron, Erika; Bossert, Lisa et al. (2018) HIV care continuum outcomes of pregnant women living with HIV with and without depression. AIDS Care 30:1580-1585
Vujkovic, Marijana; Bellamy, Scarlett L; Zuppa, Athena F et al. (2018) Polymorphisms in cytochrome P450 are associated with extensive efavirenz pharmacokinetics and CNS toxicities in an HIV cohort in Botswana. Pharmacogenomics J 18:678-688
Coviello, D M; Lovato, R; Apostol, K et al. (2018) Prevalence of HIV Viral Load Suppression Among Psychiatric Inpatients with Comorbid Substance Use Disorders. Community Ment Health J :
Wood, Sarah; Ratcliffe, Sarah; Gowda, Charitha et al. (2018) Impact of insurance coverage on HIV transmission potential among antiretroviral therapy-treated youth living with HIV. AIDS 32:895-902
Hill, David A; Lim, Hee-Woong; Kim, Yong Hoon et al. (2018) Distinct macrophage populations direct inflammatory versus physiological changes in adipose tissue. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 115:E5096-E5105
Opondo, Philip R; Ho-Foster, Ari R; Ayugi, James et al. (2018) HIV Prevalence Among Hospitalized Patients at the Main Psychiatric Referral Hospital in Botswana. AIDS Behav 22:1503-1516
Schnoll, Robert A; Thompson, Morgan; Serrano, Katrina et al. (2018) Rate of Nicotine Metabolism and Tobacco Use among Persons with HIV: Implications for Treatment and Research. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr :
Torgersen, Jessie; Bellamy, Scarlett L; Ratshaa, Bakgaki et al. (2018) Impact of Efavirenz Metabolism on Loss to Care in Older HIV+ Africans. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet :

Showing the most recent 10 out of 74 publications