The Southern HIV Alcohol Research Consortium (SHARC) was established in 2012 as one of five national Consortia for HIV/AIDS and Alcohol Research Translation. The mission of SHARC is to improve health outcomes and reduce HIV transmission in persons affected by alcohol and HIV in Florida. Florida has the highest rate of new HIV infections in the US, a growing proportion of HIV+ persons over age 50, and broad population diversity across age, gender, race/ethnicity, and geography (rural/urban). The next phase of SHARC (2016-2021) will focus on the relationship of alcohol to HIV transmission (including HIV viral suppression) and HIV comorbidities (especially brain function and liver disease). SHARC will consist of three integrated proposals that will: centralize our administrative and research infrastructure (this U24), determine whether harmful aspects of alcohol on the brain are reversible (U01), and provide expertise in strategies to change drinking behavior and in biostatistical analyses (U24). Specifically, this U24 proposal will centralize SHARC administrative services, and also continue represents the Administrative the Florida Cohort study that backbone of SHARC infrastructure and collaborative activity. The Cohort will be the source of participants for our U01 research, and both the Cohort and U01 projects will be supported by the U24 behavioral/biostatistical core.
The specific aims of this U24 are Aim 1: E nsure leadership, collaboration, and scientific oversight for all activities related to SHARC. Specifically, the Core will: obtain input from an Executive Committee, a Scientific Advisory Board, and a Community Advisory Board; monitor our scientific contributions and research productivity, manage day-to-day operations, coordinate and facilitate requests to access SHARC data and/or biological samples, provide IRB and regulatory support, and communicate our scientific findings.
Aim 2 : Support ongoing collaborative research activity related to the Florida Cohort. The Cohort was initiated in 2014 and will complete enrollment of 1700 persons (1500 HIV+, 200 HIV-). Of these, 900 HIV+ will be tracked prospectively using enhanced measures of alcohol consumption, neurocognition, liver disease, and HIV viral suppression. These 900 will include 300 with heavy drinking (> 7 drinks/week women, >14 drinks/week men), 300 with moderate drinking, and 300 with no current drinking. The Florida Cohort represents the backbone of SHARC infrastructure that allows us to a) engage in collaborative research that links public health settings and academic institutions; b) support and expand our Training and Development Program; and c) facilitate recruitment of participants into our companion U01 via a participant contact registry . The wide range of drinking behavior and population diversity within the Cohort will allow us to compare the impact of heavy drinking on HIV outcomes across diverse populations and communities. By partnering with at least 8 distinct public health clinics and settings across the state, we are now poised to collaborate on a range of intervention and implementation studies targeting individuals and public health clinics and settings.
The mission of the Southern HIV Alcohol Research Consortium (SHARC) is to improve health outcomes and reduce HIV transmission among the diverse populations affected by alcohol and HIV in the Southeastern US. This Administrative Core will have direct public health relevance by providing the structured infrastructure, access to research participants and data, and research training needed to address this mission.
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