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Human Mobility and HIV


This program supports research on the impact of human mobility on prevention and treatment outcomes in individuals at risk or living with HIV. Human mobility is broadly defined as human movement, as individuals or groups, in space and time and includes, among others livelihood mobility, displacement, household fluidity, rural to urban migrations, and involuntary mobility such as traffick for sexual exploitation or forced labor. The purpose of this program is to advance our understanding of how human mobility affects (dis)engagement with the HIV prevention and care cascade and to develop strategies to address these challenges. The world’s displaced populations are at record highs, human trafficking is increasingly a global problem, and migration pressures are increasing for many, particularly those living in the lowest-resource settings. Mobility can disrupt health care, endanger the health of individuals living with illness, and thwart efforts to contain and treat infectious diseases such as HIV. This program seeks to develop, test, and implement interventions to improve HIV outcomes in people who are in transition or have recently resettled in new, temporary or permanent housing. This includes populations such as those who have relocated due to household fluidity, livelihood mobility, seasonal work opportunities, poverty, and homelessness, and those who are displaced as refugees, asylees, or internally displaced people due to a variety of socio-political and natural events.

Research Objectives

  • Encourage epidemiological studies to identify patterns of transmission of HIV among mobile populations, determine incidence and prevalence rates, and examine/model dynamic patterns of HIV indicators in space and time in mobile populations. Studies should be conducted with stakeholder input and consideration of the ethical, legal, and social challenges associated with identifying HIV outbreaks among mobile populations.
  • Develop strategies to engage in prevention services for mobile populations who are at high risk of HIV acquisition
  • Develop strategies to engage in treatment people living with HIV among mobile populations
  • Support studies to understand the social and structural determinants of health related to mobility which affect mental health and HIV outcomes
  • Develop and test innovative care setting(s) and strategies for implementing evidence-based practices in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and mental health support for mobile populations


Gregory Greenwood, Ph.D., MPH 
5601 Fishers Lane, 9G19 
Rockville, MD 20852