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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

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Psychosocial Co-morbidities of HIV Prevention and Treatment


This program supports research on the impact of HIV-related psychosocial co-morbidities, including mental health, stress, and trauma, on HIV prevention, HIV treatment, and HIV-related health outcomes. Research is encouraged that aims to understand the complex interplay among these psychosocial comorbidities, as well as their impact on (a) HIV prevention (behavioral and biomedical) among groups at high risk of HIV infection, (b) the HIV continuum of care (HIV testing, linkage to and retention in care, medication adherence) and (c) health outcomes among individuals infected with HIV (viral load suppression, HIV-related morbidities, mortality). Mental health is broadly defined, and may include, but is not limited to, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or severe mental illness. Stressful or traumatic life experiences may include childhood maltreatment (e.g., child sexual or physical abuse, child neglect), intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual assault, community violence, or war-related trauma.

Areas of Emphasis

  • Studies to improve our understanding of the complex interplay between mental health, stress, trauma, and other psychosocial comorbidities commonly associated with HIV, and to characterize the biological, behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and social pathways through which these factors lead to poor HIV-related prevention and treatment outcomes, with the goal of identifying modifiable intervention targets.
  • Studies to better understand the impact of relationship-related factors on HIV prevention and treatment, and to incorporate relationship-related factors into HIV prevention and treatment interventions.
  • Intervention research to develop and test novel interventions that integrate mental health or trauma treatment with HIV prevention or HIV treatment-related interventions.
  • Implementation research to determine the cost-effectiveness of interventions, the comparative effectiveness of interventions, and the translation and implementation of interventions into settings that provide HIV services or into settings that provide mental health or other psychosocial services.


Teri Senn, Ph.D.
5601 Fishers Lane, Room 9G29
Rockville, MD 20852