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UCLA gets $4.6M grant to study HIV treatment, prevention among men from L.A. jails
Date:10/21/2010

ecessary hospital and emergency room use. They will also analyze re-arrest or jail recidivism. Each year, an estimated one in seven individuals infected with HIV passes through a correctional facility, suggesting that a disproportionate number of people in the criminal justice system are infected with the virus.

HIV-positive individuals who cycle through the Los Angeles County jail system are more likely to be out of medical care and off treatment and to have high HIV viral loads, said co-principal investigator Dr. Jennifer Sayles, medical director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's Office of AIDS Programs and Policy.

"This, in turn, contributes to significant health disparities among incarcerated individuals living with HIV/AIDS, as well as increased transmission risk due to low rates of antiretroviral therapy use, which further fuels the HIV epidemic locally," she said. "If effective, the proposed intervention could play a key role in the public health response to HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles and serve as a model for jurisdictions across the county."

Other UCLA researchers on the five-year study are Susan Ettner, a professor in the division of general internal medicine and health services research and a professor of public health, and Steven Shoptaw, a professor of family medicine and of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences. Other researchers include Dr. Mark Malek of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Trista Bingham of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

"Seek, Test and Treat" represents the NIH's largest research initiative to date to aggressively identify and treat HIV-positive inmates, parolees and probationers and to help them continue care when they return to their communities. The grants come primarily from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), with additional support from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute of Allergy a
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Contact: Enrique Rivero
erivero@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2273
University of California -- Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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