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Innovations in HIV Prevention, Testing, Adherence, and Retention to Optimize HIV Prevention and Care Continuum Outcomes


Gregory Greenwood, Ph.D., MPH
Division of AIDS Research


This concept aims to encourage rigorous and innovative research on HIV testing, linkage to prevention or care, adherence, and retention to optimize HIV prevention and care, which is closely aligned with NIH Office of AIDS Research and NIMH Division of AIDS Research priorities.


Groundbreaking advances in biomedical HIV research have led to effective treatment (e.g., antiretroviral therapy; ART) and prevention (e.g., pre-exposure prophylaxis; PrEP), allowing people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives and people placed at risk of acquiring HIV to protect themselves, respectively. Novel biomedical HIV treatment (e.g., long-acting injection) and prevention options (e.g., HIV vaccine, vaginal ring, long-acting injection) are in development in the research pipeline to expand the “tools” available to curb the HIV epidemic. Although some countries, regions, states, or counties have declining or flat incidence rates of HIV, others are experiencing rising rates of new cases. Rates are also disproportionately higher among key populations in many regions of the United States U.S. and world, for example men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender individuals, and incarcerated persons. In addition, adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa and Black/African Americans and Hispanic/Latinx in the Southern United States are disproportionately impacted.

Addressing behavioral and psychosocial factors (e.g., mental health, violence/trauma, stigma, discrimination, and social determinants of health) in combination with applying biomedical tools and strategies and advancing implementation science research to reduce disparities is critical to achieving the goal of the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S.   and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)  global 95-95-95 targets.

This concept encourages research such as: (1) formative basic behavioral and social science to better understand a step or steps in the HIV prevention or care continua to inform innovative approaches; (2) initial development and pilot testing of innovative approaches or intervention efficacy and effectiveness trials to improve HIV outcomes; or (3) implementation science research to optimize implementation of HIV prevention and care approaches. This concept aims to catalyze community-centered, multidisciplinary, and multisectoral research collaborations that foster research studies that are carried out with an equity lens. Studies that examine the complex multiple levels of influence across multiple domains, particularly among relevant key populations, are encouraged. Rigorous and innovative mixed-methods research, alternative clinical trial designs, implementation science, data science, communication and translational research are strongly recommended. Researchers are encouraged to address HIV and mental health priorities across the spectrum of HIV prevention, treatment, and cure research areas.