UNPRECEDENTED EFFORT TO SEEK, TEST, AND TREAT INMATES WITH HIV
NIH research to improve public health with focus on prison and jail systems across the United States
September 23, 2010 - Twelve scientific teams in more than a dozen states will receive National Institutes of Health grants to study
effective ways to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS among people in the criminal justice system. The grants, announced today, will be awarded primarily by
the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), with additional support from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), all components of NIH. The research will take place over a five-year period.
"These important and wide reaching research grants will focus on identifying individuals with HIV within the criminal justice system and linking
them to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) during periods of incarceration and after community re-entry," said NIDA Director
Dr. Nora D. Volkow. "We hope this effort will lead to decreased HIV/AIDS-related illness and death among those in the criminal justice
system, as well as decrease HIV transmission in the community at-large, making an important impact on public health."
The seek, test and treat funding opportunity follows NIH-sponsored research conducted over the last few years which has indicated that identifying and
offering treatment to all medically eligible HIV-positive individuals cannot only stop progression to AIDS and AIDS-related death, but can also help
to prevent HIV transmission. These new grants will apply this strategy to the criminal justice system, where there is a high prevalence of
HIV/AIDS and often poor access to treatment.
The newly funded research will compare different modalities of the seek, test, and treat strategy to identify, test, engage and retain HIV-positive
offenders in treatment. Some of the projects will create and compare systems to better integrate and coordinate HIV management efforts within jails,
prisons, health departments, universities, and community organizations. The grants will also support randomized controlled trials among large
groups of HIV-positive parolees and probationers comparing varied approaches for linking them to screening, treatment and social services in their communities.
"We are learning that treatment can be one of the most powerful forms of prevention," said NIMH Director Dr. Thomas Insel. "But treatment
of HIV-infected men and women during or after incarceration is a challenge, especially when many have co-occurring mental or substance abuse
disorders. We know that patients will stay connected to HIV care if their mental health improves. NIMH's project involves intensive case
management for African-American and Latino parolees in Oakland, California."
The grants will support research in a diverse group of jails and prison systems, including the Los Angeles County Jail; the Cook County Jail in
Chicago; the Rikers Island correctional facility in New York City; jail facilities in Washington, D.C., as well as prison systems in Illinois,
North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin and Rhode Island. One of the grants will compare levels of care and adherence to HAART treatment among
HIV-positive injection-drug using detainees in Hanoi, Vietnam, a city with a high rate of HIV infection related to drug use.
Two of the projects will study the effectiveness of medication used to treat heroin addiction among HIV-positive
injection drug users who are transitioning to home communities.
"The strategy of providing widespread, voluntary testing for HIV infection, identifying individuals infected with the virus and better
linking those patients to antiretroviral treatment and medical care is one that NIH is pursuing in a number of different
populations," said NIAID Director Dr. Anthony S. Fauci. "It is a potentially viable way to reduce HIV
transmission and improve the health of those infected with the virus."
Currently, an estimated 1.1 million people in the United States are infected with HIV. Since the late 1990s, the number of new HIV infections
has remained relatively stable with approximately 56,000 new infections reported annually. The funding opportunity, Seek, Test,
and Treat: Addressing HIV in the Criminal Justice System, represents 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. Close to $50 million dollars in grants over a five-year period
are expected under this research initiative.
About four of every 10 AIDS deaths are related to drug abuse. 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.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA
supports most of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to
inform policy and improve practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities
can be found on the NIDA home page at www.drugabuse.gov . To order publications
in English or Spanish, call NIDA's new DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or fax or
email requests to 240-645-0227 or email@example.com . Online
ordering is available at http://drugpubs.drugabuse.gov .
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) conducts and supports research - at NIH, throughout the United States, and
worldwide - to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating
these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site
at www.niaid.nih.gov . Other AIDS-related information
is available at http://www.aids.gov .
The mission of The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical
research, paving the way for prevention, recovery and cure. For more information, visit the www.nimh.nih.gov .
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) - The Nation's Medical Research Agency - includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments,
and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov .
Seek, Test, and Treat: Addressing HIV in the Criminal Justice System
Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse
(NIDA Press Contact: Stephanie Older, 301-443-6245/ firstname.lastname@example.org )
- A Randomized Controlled Trial and Cohort Study of HIV Testing and Linkage to Care Principal Investigator: Michael Scott Gordon, D.P.A., Friends Research Institute, Inc., Baltimore, MD
- Effectiveness of Peer Navigation to Link Released HIV+ Jail Inmates to HIV Care
Principal Investigator: William E. Cunningham, M.D., University of California at Los Angeles, CA
- HIV, Buprenorphine, and the Criminal Justice System
Principal Investigator: Frederick Lewis Altice, M.D., Yale University, New Haven, CT
- Improving Linkage to HIV Care Following Release from Incarceration Principal Investigators: Josiah Rich, M.D., Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI
Liza Solomon, Ph.D., Abt Associates, Inc., Cambridge, MA
- Naltrexone for Opioid Dependent Released HIV+ Criminal Justice Populations
Principal Investigator: Sandra Ann Springer, M.D., Yale University, New Haven, CN
- RCT (Randomized Control Trial) of an augmented test, treat, link, & retain model for NC and Texas Prisoners
Principal Investigators: David Wohl, M.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC
Patrick Flynn Ph.D., Texas Christian University, Ft. Worth, TX
Carol Golin, M.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC
Kevin Knight, Ph.D., Texas Christian University, Ft. Worth, TX
- Seek, Test, Treat: An Integrated Jail-Prison-Community Model for Illinois
Principal Investigators: Lawrence Ouellet Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Michael Puisis D.O., Cermak Health Services, Chicago, IL
Jeremy Young M.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
- Seek, Test, and Treat Strategies
Principal Investigator: David W. Seal, Ph.D., Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
- Seek, Test, Treat Strategies for Vietnamese Drug Users: A Random Controlled Trial
Principal Investigator: Vu Minh Quan, M.D., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
- START Together: HIV Testing and Treatment in and after Jail
Principal Investigator: Stanley Sacks, Ph.D., National Development and Research Institutes, New York City, NY
Source: NIH News: National Institutes of Healthhttp://www.nih.gov/news/health/sep2010/nida-23.htm