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Advancing HIV Prevention through Transformative Behavioral and Social Science Research

NAMHC Concept Clearance


Dianne Rausch, Ph.D.
Deputy Director, Center for Mental Health Research on AIDS
Division of AIDS Research (DAR)


This initiative aims to advance generalizable knowledge about HIV prevention through transformative behavioral and social science research. An underlying assumption for this initiative is that methods of and findings from social and behavioral studies can make essential contributions to research which utilizes biomedical modalities. In addition, biomedical perspective is essential for the advancement of social and behavioral HIV research on prevention.


In July 2010, the White House released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The Strategy presents a vision of the United States as a place where new HIV infections rarely occur, and where all persons have access to needed care. As one response to the Strategy, the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR) sponsored and convened the "Social and Behavioral HIV Prevention Research Think Tank" in September 2010. This meeting brought together experts from research and academic institutions, government agencies, and community constituency groups to exchange information on the state of HIV social and behavioral prevention research in the United States, to develop ideas for further research, and to determine opportunities for partnerships and collaborations. One of the outcomes of the meeting was a set of recommendations addressing research approaches and questions for consideration.

The objective of this research initiative is to expand the behavioral and social science knowledge-base, for the development or implementation of interventions with the potential to affect the prevention of HIV transmission or acquisition, and to result in decreases in HIV incidence at the population level. This initiative is specifically applicable to HIV in the United States.

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