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Advancing Community-level Approaches to Reduce HIV Infection in Highly Impacted Communities

Concept Clearance


Cynthia Grossman, PhD
Program Official, Secondary Prevention Program
Division of AIDS Research (DAR)

Susannah Allison, PhD
Program Official, Prevention Program
Division of AIDS Research (DAR)


To advance community-level HIV prevention interventions among geographic locations and populations highly impacted by HIV in the United States (US).


Over two decades’ worth of research have led to the identification of numerous scientifically proven behavioral interventions with the potential to help individuals reduce HIV-risk behaviors and thus, curb new HIV infections. However, many of the interventions developed and tested to date are delivered at the level of the individual person, through intensive one-on-one or small group modalities; therefore, such interventions may have limited reach and may not address factors associated with risk at the community level.  HIV cases in the US are disproportionately concentrated in specific populations, including a) Gay and Bisexual men b) Black men and women c) Latinos and Latinas, and d) specific geographic communities and neighborhoods.

To achieve a community-level reduction in HIV infection rates, this initiative aims to support research including, but not limited to:

  • Research to improve the reach, uptake, and impact of existing community-level HIV prevention strategies with potential for population-level impact in high-risk populations;
  • Development and testing of innovative community-level prevention strategies and combination behavioral-biomedical HIV prevention approaches that reduce the risk of infection in high prevalence communities;
  • Development and testing of better community-level approaches that integrate HIV prevention and care with more comprehensive responses to social service needs;
  • Development and testing of community-level interventions and policies in high-risk communities that improve HIV testing rates, enrollment in primary HIV medical care, treatment adherence and retention, viral load and CD4 monitoring, and/or prevention with HIV-positive individuals;
  • Development and testing of community-level interventions to reduce HIV related stigma and discrimination, to reduce barriers to community-wide HIV testing, and promote timely entry into care among HIV infected individuals; and,
  • Advancements and improvements in HIV screening, surveillance activities, and community viral load measurement to identify populations at greatest risk that need to be targeted for HIV prevention services.

Leveraging existing clinical trial infrastructure or large-scale demonstration projects funded by partnering agencies would maximize the research Impact.

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