Cathy Reback

Dr. Cathy Reback Receives R01 Award

FRI is pleased to announce that Dr. Cathy Reback, along with Dr. Sean Murphy from Weill Cornell Medical College (MPIs), have received a five-year R01 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse entitled, “Comparative- and Cost-effectiveness Research Determining the Optimal Intervention for Advancing Transgender Women Living with HIV to Full Viral Suppression.” In addition to Drs. Reback and Murphy, the interdisciplinary investigative team of experts includes Drs. Tom Blue (FRI), Raphael J. Landovitz (UCLA), and Ali Jalali (Weill Cornell Medical College). This study builds on the promising findings from two HRSA-funded demonstration projects, The Alexis Project and Text Me, Girl!, which utilized Peer Health Navigation (PHN) and SMS (i.e., text messaging), respectively, for advancing trans women living with HIV to full viral suppression. Though the effectiveness of both interventions has been established, their comparative-effectiveness, required resources/costs, cost-effectiveness, and heterogeneous effects on subgroups, including those with a SUD, have not been evaluated. This Phase II comparative-effectiveness RCT will randomize participants (N=225) into: PHN alone (n=75), SMS alone (n=75), or PHN+SMS (n=75). Using the same time points as the HRSA projects, the repeated-measures design will assess participants at baseline, 3-, 6-, 12-, and 18-months post-randomization. The specific aims are to: 1) Conduct a comparative effectiveness research trial to determine the relative effectiveness of PHN vs. SMS vs. PHN+SMS in terms of: Primary (a) virologic suppression; and Secondary outcomes (b) HIV Treatment Adherence Self-Efficacy Scale scores; (c) the AIDS Health Belief Scale scores; (d) the Inventory of Socially Supportive Behaviors scores; and (e) urine drug screen results; 2) Identify the resources required to prepare for, implement, and sustain each intervention, and estimate the associated costs; 3) Conduct a comprehensive cost-effectiveness analysis to determine the relative value of each intervention from the healthcare-sector, state-policymaker, and societal perspectives; and, a Secondary Aim to determine heterogeneous intervention effects across interventions due to social and structural determinants of health and individual-level characteristics. Findings have the potential to improve individual and population health outcomes by generating significant improvements in viral suppression among trans women, and guiding service provision and public policy.