The Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) is the largest HIV cohort in the North America (40,594). It includes a nested, consented 8 site sample (VACS 8) of 3,660 HIV infected (HIV+) veterans demographically matched to 3652 uninfected veterans (HIV-) which has longitudinal in-depth data spanning nearly 10 years on alcohol, substance use, and health and behavioral outcomes. Of the HIV+ subjects in VACS 8, 63% drink alcohol and 32% have unhealthy alcohol use. Because VACS includes uninfected comparators, we are able to characterize the role of HIV infection in alcohol associated outcomes. VACS include large well characterized samples of understudied, but important subgroups: middle aged and older individuals, people of color, Black men who have sex with men, those with HCV infection (HCV+). We propose to enroll more women and those new to care. We have conducted observational research, and limited operations modeling and intervention studies within VACS focused on the role of alcohol in determining modifiable outcomes among HIV+/-. We have a national network of investigators and a highly effective Coordinating Center at the West Haven VA Medical Center. Our group has produced >100 widely cited, publications. We are proud of the education and career development support we have offered, but VACS funding for alcohol research ends September 2011. We propose to transform VACS into the Consortium to improve OutcoMes in HIV/Aids, Alcohol, Aging, and multi-Substance use (COMpAAAS) by 1) expanding our work in intervention and operations modeling while maintaining excellence in observational data analyses, 2) Converting our clinic based observational study into an Interactive Web Based Laboratory and providing administrative and methodological support to our network of investigators, and 3) Tapping our network of collaborators in North America and Europe to validate and extend our findings. Our consortium mission is to incrementally build and disseminate the evidence needed to optimize health care for HIV+ harmed by alcohol, multisubstance use, HCV, and depression through strategically coordinated, integrated, and externally validated observation, operations modeling, and intervention studies.

Public Health Relevance

We propose to organize a collaboration of research experts, clinicians, patients, and policy makers into the Consortium to improve OutcoMes in HIV/AIDS (COMpAAAS). Our mission is to provide new knowledge to improve the health care of HIV infected persons harmed by alcohol and related conditions (multisubstance use, HCV, and depression) through insights from observation, intervention, and simulation modeling.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Resource-Related Research Projects--Cooperative Agreements (U24)
Project #
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1)
Program Officer
Roach, Deidra
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Yale University
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
New Haven
United States
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Grover, Surbhi; Desir, Fidel; Jing, Yuezhou et al. (2018) Reduced Cancer Survival Among Adults With HIV and AIDS-Defining Illnesses Despite No Difference in Cancer Stage at Diagnosis. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 79:421-429
Gaither, Julie R; Gordon, Kirsha; Crystal, Stephen et al. (2018) Racial disparities in discontinuation of long-term opioid therapy following illicit drug use among black and white patients. Drug Alcohol Depend 192:371-376
Hawkins, Kellie L; Gordon, Kirsha S; Levin, Myron J et al. (2018) Herpes Zoster and Herpes Zoster Vaccine Rates Among Adults Living With and Without HIV in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 79:527-533
Williams, Emily C; McGinnis, Kathleen A; Bobb, Jennifer F et al. (2018) Changes in alcohol use associated with changes in HIV disease severity over time: A national longitudinal study in the Veterans Aging Cohort. Drug Alcohol Depend 189:21-29
Yanik, Elizabeth L; Hernández-Ramírez, Raúl U; Qin, Li et al. (2018) Brief Report: Cutaneous Melanoma Risk Among People With HIV in the United States and Canada. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 78:499-504
Halpin, Sean N; Carruth, Edwin Clayton; Rai, Ramona P et al. (2018) Complementary and Alternative Medicine Among Persons living with HIV in the Era of Combined Antiretroviral Treatment. AIDS Behav 22:848-852
Matson, Theresa E; McGinnis, Kathleen A; Rubinsky, Anna D et al. (2018) Gender and alcohol use: influences on HIV care continuum in a national cohort of patients with HIV. AIDS 32:2247-2253
Altekruse, Sean F; Shiels, Meredith S; Modur, Sharada P et al. (2018) Cancer burden attributable to cigarette smoking among HIV-infected people in North America. AIDS 32:513-521
Barry, Declan T; Marshall, Brandon D L; Becker, William C et al. (2018) Duration of opioid prescriptions predicts incident nonmedical use of prescription opioids among U.S. veterans receiving medical care. Drug Alcohol Depend 191:348-354
Beckman, Joshua A; Duncan, Meredith S; Alcorn, Charles W et al. (2018) Association of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection and Risk of Peripheral Artery Disease. Circulation 138:255-265

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