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NYUCN receives $7.56 million NIH grant to research heterosexuals at high risk of HIV infection
Date:10/28/2011

New York University College of Nursing (NYUCN) received a five-year, $7.56 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to evaluate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a peer-driven intervention to seek out heterosexuals at high risk for HIV in their communities, test them for HIV, and link them to care in a timely fashion if they are found to be HIV infected.

An estimated 25% of individuals currently living with HIV in the United States do not know they are infected. This undiagnosed HIV infection is particularly prevalent among populations that experience barriers to testing and care and that are therefore difficult to reach and engage. It is well documented that heterosexuals at high risk for HIV ("HHR") are significantly less likely to test for HIV and more likely to be diagnosed with HIV late in the course of their HIV disease compared to their peers with traditional risk factors for HIV such as men who have sex with men and those who inject drugs. HHR also tend to experience serious delays in accessing care, placing them at grave risk for illness, loss of quality of life, and early mortality. People of color, particularly African Americans and Latinos, are vastly over-represented among the population of HHR.

The overall goal of this study is to develop a user-friendly, fairly brief, potent, and cost-effective method for reaching the population of HHR, and bringing those found to be infected with HIV into care in a timely fashion.

The problem of testing, treatment, and retention into care for HHR is challenging, because the population experiences a range of barriers to needed services. Among these are structural barriers, such as poor access to or difficulty accessing high-quality HIV testing and care; social barriers including social norms that do not encourage frequent use of health care generally, including of HIV testing; and numerous individual-level barriers
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Contact: Christopher James
christopher.james@nyu.edu
212-998-6876
New York University
Source:Eurekalert

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