Dr. Kimberly Kisler Receives First HRSA Award

FRI is pleased to announce that Dr. Kimberly Kisler, along with Co-Investigator Dr. Cathy J. Reback, have received a three-year grant from Health Resources and Services Administrations’ Special Projects of National Significance entitled, “Adaptation of an Evidence-informed Behavioral Health Intervention to Improve Health Outcomes among Black Men who have Sex with Men (BMSM) Living with HIV.” Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) living with HIV in Los Angeles County experience a number of interrelated and mutually reinforcing behavioral health challenges, including prejudice/discrimination, substance use, mental health disorder, housing instability, and other individual, cultural, and structural barriers that stand as obstacles to HIV care and other needed services. The funded intervention will target heavily impacted BMSM living with HIV, between the ages of 18 and 65 years, and who due to pervasive behavioral health issues are hard-to-reach, underserved, and underinsured. The primary goal of the adapted intervention will be to link or re-engage and retain BMSM living with HIV (N=90), who are heavily impacted by the intersectionality of other behavioral health issues, in HIV care so they can reach and sustain viral suppression. The intervention will be delivered across three months and includes a total of six case management sessions. The case management sessions will include detailed assessment of participants’ needs, barriers to treatment, and HIV risk behavior acuity, all leading to the development of a participant-centered treatment plan. Peer Case Managers will work with participants to increase HIV health literacy, identify and remove barriers to optimal HIV health care and other services, and to directly link participants to all needed services. Assessments will be conducted at baseline, 3-, 6-, and 9-months post-enrollment and will examine the following research questions: 1) What proportion of BMSM enrolled in the intervention will be retained in HIV care?; 2) What proportion of BMSM enrolled in the intervention will achieve undetectable viral load status and maintain it through 9-months post-enrollment?; and 3) How are individual- (e.g., mental health disorder, substance use) and/or structural-level (e.g., poverty, housing instability, racism/homophobia/HIV stigma) factors associated with HIV care outcomes among BMSM participants?