We welcome those interested in NIDA’s HIV research. Watch this space for messages from the ARP scientific leadership team on interesting new findings in the field as well as funding opportunities from NIDA.
- virtual Symposium honoring six recipients of the Avant-Garde Award Program for HIV/AIDS and Substance Use Disorder Research. Symposium registration is now online. The NIDA Avant-Garde Award Program for HIV/AIDS and Substance Use Disorder Research supports individual scientists of exceptional creativity at all career levels who propose high-impact research that will open new areas of HIV research and/or lead to new avenues for prevention and treatment of HIV among people who use drugs. Learn more about NIDA’s HIV/AIDS Avant Garde Award Program: On April 27 from 1 - 4:30 pm, the NIDA AIDS Research Program will be holding a
- video from our January Symposium featuring previous HIV/AIDS Avenir Award recipients. Learn more about their innovative research as you prepare your own proposals. Note that applications are accepted in the summer and do not require preliminary data. The Avenir award provides up to $375,000 per year for 4 years to support cutting-edge and potentially transformative projects. Early stage and new investigators: We have posted the
- findings underscore that expanding public health insurance is one tool that can help curb the HIV epidemic. NIH-funded research demonstrates that Medicaid expansions were associated with increases in the percentage of people living with HIV who are aware of their status and pre-exposure prophylaxis use, suggesting that access to health care increases knowledge and implementation of prevention and treatment strategies.
SAMHSA’s new publication Prevention and Treatment of HIV Among People Living with Substance Use and/or Mental Disorders addresses the co-occurrence of HIV and substance use disorder and/or mental illness, and reviews effective programs and practices to prevent HIV and, for those with HIV, to increase linkage and retention to care in order to improve health outcomes.
- published new findings exploring women’s interest in long-acting injectable antiretroviral therapy. Most women with a history of taking injectable medication would prefer the longer acting treatment, but those who have frequent medication-related injections and history of injection drug use might not, underscoring the need for further research to address patient-centered concerns related to injectable medication. A multi-state research team has
Findings from two studies this month relate to the use of methamphetamine, a drug known to be an important factor in the transmission of HIV by increasing sexual urges and decreasing behaviors that prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
- A double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase III clinical trial demonstrated that a combination of two existing medications, injectable naltrexone and oral bupropion, was safe and effective in treating adults with moderate or severe methamphetamine use disorder. Published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the research was done at multiple sites within NIDA’s Clinical Trials Network. The investigators found that the effectiveness of the combination is similar to the effectiveness of analgesics for treating pain and most medical treatments for mental health disorders. You can read more about this exciting development in Dr. Volkow’s latest blog.
- Highlighting the growing need for this treatment, an analysis by NIDA scientists over an eight year period ending in 2018 showed a five-fold increase of methamphetamine overdose deaths among people ages 25-54, with the biggest increase among American Indians and Alaska Natives. This important finding underscores the urgency of continued research into targeted and culturally tailored treatments for stimulant use disorder, which currently has no FDA-approved medication.
- Wednesday, January 27th for a virtual symposium featuring previous award recipients to learn about the innovative research funded through this program. Register for the symposium here. Note that applications are accepted in the summer and do not require preliminary data. Early stage and new investigators: It’s time to start thinking about applying for the HIV/AIDS Avenir award, which provides up to $375,000 per year for 4 years to support cutting-edge and potentially transformative projects. Join us
- elite controllers was selected as one of nine runners up for Science magazine’s Breakthrough of the Year.
Other research published this year includes unprecedented findings that higher viral reservoirs might exist in the central nervous system of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART)-treated subjects, underscoring the importance of substance use status in developing targeted HIV therapies. In 2020, we also learned more about the link between rising stimulant use and HIV transmission, and how co-occurring methamphetamine use and HIV compounds the risk for contracting COVID-19.
In addition, we celebrated progress through our sponsorship of a supplement to the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, Unraveling neuroHIV in the Presence of Substance Use Disorders, with ten NIDA-funded HIV-related scientific manuscripts. We saw a mid-year blog from NIDA Director Nora Volkow looking at the intersection of HIV with substance use disorders amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and on December 1st, NIDA honored World AIDS Day by announcing new infographic timelines highlighting the program’s historical impact since its inception in 2004. Finally, to bring ARP-stimulated research to the public more quickly, in 2020 we began posting online an ongoing selection of science highlights illuminating important advances in NIDA-funded HIV research.
The ARP team wishes all a Happy New Year filled with hope, and wants to give thanks to program staff and grantees who continue to pursue innovative science aimed at reducing the global burden of HIV. We’d especially like to mention staffer Andrea Czajkowski, who keeps things running day after day at NIDA’s AIDS Research Program.
- The year 2020 was difficult indeed, but despite the challenges of COVID-19, NIDA’s AIDS Research Program moved forward with some impressive advances. At year’s end we learned that the NIDA-funded research on
- "Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity” announcement is a terrific funding opportunity for nonprofits, small businesses, local governments and higher education institutions (particularly those serving diverse student populations), with interest in projects that have the potential to improve the lives of those most at risk for HIV. Please note that the PAR-19-343 will now accept AIDS and AIDS-related applications, with a deadline extended to January 8, 2020. This
- NIDA funded study examining the challenges of managing pain for people living with HIV. This can be important for people who use or have a history of misusing drugs, especially opioids, and now that safe and effective HIV treatment allows people living with HIV to lead long, productive lives.
We’d like to bring to your attention a
- Painful Subjects: Treating Chronic Pain among People Living with HIV in the Age of Opioid Risk. Carroll JJ, Lira MC, Lunze K, Colasanti JA, Del Rio C, Samet JH. Med Anthropol Q. 2020 Nov 5. doi: 10.1111/maq.12618. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33152133
- high impact research findings, and the other identifies key policy and outreach milestones. These timelines not only reveal a history of program accomplishments but also forecast future achievements in research.
To celebrate World AIDS Day, NIDA has created two graphic timelines to honor the research and policy highlights that have advanced our scientific knowledge of the intersection of substance use and HIV transmission since NIDA’s AIDS Research Program was formed in 2004. One timeline identifies some of our
- We also want to bring to your attention some new interesting research findings that examine the biological mechanisms of elite controllers—the tiny fraction of HIV patients who can suppress the virus without medication.
We are pleased to highlight two new NIDA/NIMHD co-funded opportunities:
- First - we are seeking innovative projects that directly engage at risk populations, including structural interventions that can improve access to substance use prevention, treatment and harm reduction initiatives. We are especially interested in interventions that will include collaborations with diverse local stakeholders and address comorbidities such as intimate partner violence, marginal housing or serious mental disorders. See Multi-Level HIV Prevention Interventions for Individuals at the Highest Risk of HIV Infection
- We are also seeking cost-effective care innovations for people who are HIV positive or suffer from substance use disorders, with a focus on harm reduction service settings in multiple geographic hotspots. Interventions could highlight novel approaches to PrEP delivery and/or clinic-level culturally competent components to reduce health care related stigma with a focus on racial/ethnic minorities, and/or sexual and gender minorities. See Promoting Viral Suppression among Individuals from Health Disparity Populations Engaged in HIV Care.
- new NIH Stephen I. Katz Early Stage Investigator Research Project Grant funding opportunities, which support innovative projects that represent a change in research direction for early stage investigators. Take note of the
- findings that demonstrate the superiority of long-acting injectable Cabotegravir to daily oral FTC/TDF for HIV prevention among certain populations of women. This remarkable advance signals an area of important research for us to answer questions about the acceptability, feasibility, and implementation of this potential tool into the care of women who use drugs. Congratulations to the HTPN 084 study scientific team for their new