Researchers in the UAB Division of Infectious Diseases and the Research Informatics Service Center at the Center for AIDS Research have been chosen as the national program office for HIV Care Connect. The new $7 million, five-year initiative is funded by the Merck Foundation. It is designed to help reduce disparities in access to care and improve health outcomes for persons with HIV living in underserved southeastern United States communities.
As the national program office, UAB will work with Care Resource in Miami, Florida; Medical Advocacy and Outreach in Montgomery, Alabama; and the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, supported through the HIV Care Connect initiative.
"We believe the HIV Care Connect initiative has the potential to be transformative in our region," said Michael Mugavero, MD, co-director of UAB's CFAR and national program office director of HIV Care Connect.
The program requires collaboration among local health organizations and community-based support agencies to address barriers to care associated with social determinants of health. These can include economic stability, neighborhood and physical environment, education, stigma, social context, and trust in health care system.
UAB CFAR is one of 19 Centers for AIDS Research established by the National Institutes of Health.