The study will involve a cohort of young substance users particularly users of stimulants who have poor histories of adhering to antiretroviral treatment, allowing researchers to test the biological influences of substances on immune function.
Findings from this unique cohort will shed light on the effects of substance use on the behaviors and clinical outcomes of both HIV-positive and high-risk, HIV-negative minority men that can ultimately be used to improve access to HIV prevention, treatment and care.
The epidemic of HIV among minority men who have sex with men in Los Angeles County, as well as in the U.S. as a whole, may be driven by the effects of drug use on individuals' adherence to their treatment regimens and on biobehavioral prevention, and it may be enhanced by network effects, the researchers said.
"This cohort is central to prevention and treatment efforts and will provide well-characterized, extensive repository samples for leveraged use with other cohorts, networks and individual's studies," Shoptaw said. "This unique cohort will facilitate studies on interactions between substance use and HIV progression and transmission, which are of critical public health significance."
The L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center will be one of the community sites for recruitment of HIV-positive participants for the study; the UCLA Vine Street Clinic will recruit HIV-negative participants.
The MASCULINE study is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health (U01DA036267).
|Contact: Enrique Rivero|
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences