While the epidemic of HIV in the US has leveled off for many age groups, from 2000-2010, the annual number of new HIV diagnoses among young men who have sex with men (YMSM) (13-24 year old) more than doubled. In 2010, YMSM accounted for 72% of new infections among people ages 13 to 24, and 30% of all new infections among MSM. The success of treatment as prevention in reducing the number of new HIV infections among youth, and particularly YMSM, relies on HIV testing, antiretroviral treatment (both for treatment and prevention), adherence and viral suppression among those with HIV. The UNC/Emory Center for Innovative Technology (iTech) aims to impact the HIV epidemic by conducting innovative, interdisciplinary research on technology-based interventions across the HIV prevention and care continuum for adolescents and young adults in the United States (US). The iTech also creates an infrastructure to share and disseminate best practices in technology-delivered HIV interventions to other ATN projects and programs serving adolescents. The iTech overall goals seek to decrease the impact of HIV on the lives of adolescents and young adults in the US, particularly YMSM, by providing: 1) treatment as prevention for those without HIV but at risk; 2) earlier identification and treatment for those infected but undiagnosed; 3) interventions to address structural determinants that decrease access to and uptake of prevention and care services; and 4) treatment interventions to encourage adherence for youth dealing with substance use, mental health related issues, stigmatization and disenfranchisement. The necessary resources and support for HIV/AIDS investigators addressing these goals will be provided by the iTech Cores: 1) Management (Hightow-Weidman); 2) Analytic (Rosenberg/Muessig); and, 3) Technology (Sullivan/Hightow-Weidman). To accomplish our Overall Goals we have developed the following Specific Aims:
Aim 1 : To provide scientific leadership with expertise and experience in technology-based research to address fundamental questions related to the HIV prevention and care continuum, guide our overall research strategy and foster collaboration and synergy both within our iTech and with the broader ATN scientific community.
Aim 2 : To support the development and assessment of innovative technology-focused interventions addressing the HIV prevention and care continuum for at-risk or infected youth aged 15-24 years.
Aim 3 : To support the overall ATN scientific agenda by participating on the ATN Executive Committee and collaborating with other U19 awardees stimulating new synergistic and responsive grants applications and research to respond to emerging issues in this field.
Aim 4 : To develop and nurture partnerships that will ensure community input at all stages of conceptualization, design, implementation, and interpretation of the research.
Aim 5. To develop, mentor and train clinicians and researchers to stimulate innovative HIV/AIDS research focused on technological innovation across the care continuum.

Public Health Relevance

The UNC/Emory Center for Innovative Technology (iTech) aims to impact the HIV epidemic by developing and evaluating innovative interdisciplinary research on technology-based interventions across the HIV prevention and care continuum for at-risk or infected youth aged 15-24 years in the United States. The iTech represents an integrated, interactive research program designed to support a package of technology-based interventions that address the entire HIV prevention and care continuum. The iTech will foster collaboration with the broader ATN scientific community and provide scientific leadership and expertise on technology-based HIV research. The iTech will be the first (and to our knowledge only) center to use technology in scientifically rigorous and innovative ways to engage and impact at-risk or infected youth.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
Project #
5U19HD089881-05
Application #
9955288
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1)
Program Officer
Moye, Jack
Project Start
2016-09-30
Project End
2021-05-31
Budget Start
2020-06-01
Budget End
2021-05-31
Support Year
5
Fiscal Year
2020
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Department
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
608195277
City
Chapel Hill
State
NC
Country
United States
Zip Code
27599
Mulawa, Marta I; LeGrand, Sara; Hightow-Weidman, Lisa B (2018) eHealth to Enhance Treatment Adherence Among Youth Living with HIV. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep 15:336-349
Bauermeister, José A; Golinkoff, Jesse M; Horvath, Keith J et al. (2018) A Multilevel Tailored Web App-Based Intervention for Linking Young Men Who Have Sex With Men to Quality Care (Get Connected): Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Res Protoc 7:e10444
Hurt, Christopher B (2018) PrEParing Providers: The Next Challenge in Implementing Human Immunodeficiency Virus Preexposure Prophylaxis. Sex Transm Dis 45:459-461
Hightow-Weidman, Lisa B; Muessig, Kathryn; Rosenberg, Eli et al. (2018) University of North Carolina/Emory Center for Innovative Technology (iTech) for Addressing the HIV Epidemic Among Adolescents and Young Adults in the United States: Protocol and Rationale for Center Development. JMIR Res Protoc 7:e10365
Hurt, Christopher B (2018) PrEParing Providers: The Next Challenge in Implementing HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. Sex Transm Dis :
Siegler, Aaron J; Bratcher, Anna; Weiss, Kevin M et al. (2018) Location location location: an exploration of disparities in access to publicly listed pre-exposure prophylaxis clinics in the United States. Ann Epidemiol 28:858-864
Siegler, Aaron J; Mouhanna, Farah; Giler, Robertino Mera et al. (2018) The prevalence of pre-exposure prophylaxis use and the pre-exposure prophylaxis-to-need ratio in the fourth quarter of 2017, United States. Ann Epidemiol 28:841-849
LeGrand, Sara; Muessig, Kathryn E; Horvath, Keith J et al. (2017) Using technology to support HIV self-testing among MSM. Curr Opin HIV AIDS 12:425-431
Hightow-Weidman, Lisa B; Muessig, Kathryn E; Bauermeister, José A et al. (2017) The future of digital games for HIV prevention and care. Curr Opin HIV AIDS 12:501-507
Bauermeister, José A; Golinkoff, Jesse M; Muessig, Kathryn E et al. (2017) Addressing engagement in technology-based behavioural HIV interventions through paradata metrics. Curr Opin HIV AIDS 12:442-446

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