Los Angeles Basin - California State University - MHRT

Training Laboratories

Click the names of the Laboratory Directors below to read about the field of work and and find a link to their webpages.

United States

Charles R. Drew University

George Washington University

Florida International University

Thailand

Chiang Mai University

Argentina

INBIRS (formerly National Reference Center for AIDS)

Professor Cynthia Davis

Professor Cynthia Davis

Charles R. Drew University

Professor Cynthia Davis' webpage

Reducing the HIV/AIDS menace in disadvantaged populations: education, prevention, diagnostic, and treatment compliance

Community research, community-inspired research and community-partnered research are the defining features of the HIV/AIDS center at CDU. Trainees will be able to utilize the opportunities at CDU CARES, a center for clinical, educational and research excellence in HIV/AIDS with a central mission to eliminate disparities in care for ethnic minorities living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Supported by a 3-year grant from the California University-wide AIDS Research Program, the center builds academic-community partnerships to provide HIV treatment and research in Los Angeles County. Trainees will have diverse opportunities in research and interventions training at: a) the OASIS Clinic and Early Intervention Program, which offers Testing, Early Intervention and Outpatient Treatment services. These include confidential HIV testing with counseling, physical examinations, and medical treatment as well as individual psychosocial counseling or psychotherapy referrals. All services are offered in both English and Spanish regardless of the client’s ability to pay, age, race, sexual orientation, race, religion, national origin or physical impairment, and clients are matched with staff of the same race or ethnic background whenever possible; b) the SPECTRUM Treatment Education program, which assists individuals living in Los Angeles to adhere to antiretroviral medical regimes while preparing and educating them on HIV/AIDS, advocating for them and teaching them to advocate for themselves; and c) the Mobile HIV Testing Units, which travel throughout South Central Los Angeles and other parts of the county providing free HIV antibody screening to at-risk populations. These units screen approximately 5000 individuals per year. The rates of positive tests obtained from the two vans are amongst the highest reported for HIV test sites in Los Angeles County. All these training opportunities are fully funded.

Dr. Mark Edberg

Dr. Mark Edberg

George Washington University

Dr. Mark Edberg's webpage

HIV/AIDS risk in vulnerable populations - Health disparities in the Latino and African immigrants

While existing research has identified many contributing factors for longstanding disparity populations in the U.S., less attention has been paid to health disparities, and their unique determinants, among immigrant communities. As the U.S. population grows increasingly diverse, this challenge will remain at the forefront of health disparities research and practice. Potential mentoring opportunities build on: 1) a longstanding record of collaborative research and interventions with immigrant communities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area (Latino, Ethiopian, West African, Southeast Asian); 2) the mission and goals of the Avance Center, initially funded as an NIMHD P-20 exploratory research center, and most recently supported with CDC funding; 3) the mission and goals of the CSWD, which include an interest in transnational health phenomena; and 4) the availability of support from a number of faculty within the Department of Prevention and Community Health, who are addressing numerous health disparities concerns including HIV/AIDS risk in immigrant communities and other vulnerable populations. MHRT scholars will have opportunities to train in the analysis of social and cultural determinants of health risk, prevention efforts addressing multiple factors leading to health disparities, community collaborative research/intervention, communications development, and other approaches to reduce HIV/AIDS disparities.

The Avance Center mission is based on the understanding that racial/ethnic minority health disparities are the outcomes of numerous factors that form an ecology of disparities, and that they occur in clusters as a syndemic. Effective understanding of and approaches to addressing such disparities will result from research that identifies shared contributing factors and their associated vulnerability trajectories. Concerning immigrant populations, the Avance Center together with CSWD pursues an approach that considers immigrant health disparities to be a continuum that includes home country experience, migration experience, and experience in the new country.

Dr. Mario De La Rosa

Dr. Mario De La Rosa

Florida International University

Dr. Mario De La Rosa's webpage

HIV/AIDS and substance abuse health disparities among Latinos

Latinos are confronted with escalating HIV/AIDS and substance abuse problems while facing more significant challenges to access health care in comparison to the general population. These health disparities, which are particularly salient among Latina women, make it imperative to develop a clear understanding of the factors that affect the disproportionate numbers of people who have HIV/AIDS and substance abuse in this population. CRUSADA’s mission includes addressing the twin epidemics of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS in Latino communities throughout South Florida and training researchers and professionals from racial/ethnic minority and medically underserved populations in behavioral research.

CRUSADA established multidisciplinary and community-based research and training approaches that became instrumental in understanding individual, family, and community factors that influence the spread of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse among Latinos in South Florida. MHRT scholars trained in the Center will have the opportunity to work alongside other members to develop more effective interventions aimed to reduce the prevalence of the twin epidemics of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS and to improve the health status of immigrant populations. Specific areas include, but are not limited to: 1) assessment of pre- and post- immigration sexual risk behavior and alcohol use among recent Latino immigrants; 2) identification of the different factors that influence the pre- to post-immigration modifications in HIV or substance abuse risk behavior; 3) understanding of how cultural mechanisms impact the alcohol use trajectories of male and female early adult Latino immigrants; 4) determination of the moderating role that cultural mechanisms may have on the relationship between changes in pre- to post-immigration social determinants and alcohol use trajectories among male and female Latino immigrants during early adulthood; 5) design of gender-specific interventions to ameliorate cultural stressors and alcohol use among recent Hispanic immigrants; and 6) design of interventions to address alcohol use at an early age as a prevention of cannabis use disorder.

Dr. Kriengkrai Srithanaviboonchai

Dr. Kriengkrai Srithanaviboonchai

Chiang Mai University

Dr. Kriengkrai Srithanaviboonchai's webpage

HIV/AIDS, education, prevention, patient support, management and delivery of care in Thailand

Although intensive nationwide education campaigns to prevent transmission have produced a significant slowdown in the increase in the number of people infected with HIV in Thailand, AIDS remains a highly critical problem. The estimated percentage of the population infected with HIV is 1.1%. These individuals need treatment and education, especially the lowest educated population that shies away from seeking appropriate treatment or complying with it due to ignorance about the disease, social stigma associated with AIDS, and other reasons.

The RIHES, Department of Community Medicine pursues a broad range of HIV research areas and will make training opportunities available in all of them. These areas include epidemiologic, clinical, behavioral, and social science research on HIV prevention, care, and treatment. Examples of specific research subjects that MHRT scholars can choose for their training are: 1) Health services and health care delivery, 2) HIV prevention, care, and treatment among high-risk populations such as youths, men who have sex with men, transgender women, drug users and older adults living with HIV, 3) HIV co-morbidities and co-infections such as diabetes, hypertension, and tuberculosis, and 4) HIV stigma and discrimination in families, communities, and healthcare settings.

Dr. Manuel Gomez Carrillo

Dr. Manuel Gomez Carrillo

Institute for Research on Retroviruses and AIDS (formerly known as National Reference Center for AIDS

Dr. Manuel Gomez Carrillo's webpage

HIV/AIDS in disadvantaged populations in Argentina

HIV infection disproportionately affects the most vulnerable population in Argentina. About 60% of infected people belong to the least affluent sector of the population, which cannot afford preventive medicine or adequate treatment. The Health System in Argentina consists of a three-prong scheme, the public sector, the social security that is associated to the employer, and the private sector that is only available to the most affluent. The public sector, overseen by the Ministry of Health, includes hospitals and health centers that offer free healthcare to those that lack social security and are unable to cover the costs of care. Sixty percent of the HIV infected people belong to this section of the population and therefore receive free treatment in the public sector through a division called “Direction for AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases”. There have been 138,458 registered cases of HIV between 1990 and 2016, and there are about 6,000 new cases a year.

The INBIRS is a center that belongs to the public sector and is dedicated to research and intervention for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other retroviruses. The MHRT scholars will undergo an integral training experience on different Public Health aspects such as 1) Outreach to detect HIV, secondary infections, and other sexually transmitted diseases in the most vulnerable populations that not only cannot afford care but are unable to access the public system and are usually subjected to discrimination; 2) Internship at the Ministry of Health where they will become familiar with evolving strategies to reach the vulnerable population, epidemiological surveillance, registry of cases, and interventions designed to test large segments of the vulnerable population; 3) Internships in hospitals within the public sector to become familiar with the dynamics of HIV infection treatment, prevention, and prophylaxis.