amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

New Research Funding for AIDS Initiative in New York

New York HIV Research Centers Consortium awards will help researchers evaluate new HIV/AIDS-focused treatment and policy

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Cub Barrett, Program Communications Manager, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, (212) 806-1602


NEW YORK, June 14, 2010—Kicking off a new research initiative, the New York HIV Research Centers Consortium announced Monday that it has awarded grants to two New York-based researchers who will use their findings to help shape health policy and treatment programs across the state.

The inaugural awards, each $33,000, establish a research program that focuses on issues of particular relevance for New York. The program springs from recommendations generated at a conference convened by the New York HIV Research Centers Consortium in December 2008.

“New York is home to some of the most esteemed and prolific academic and biomedical researchers in the world and, regrettably, to a growing and changing HIV/AIDS epidemic as well,” said New York State Senator Tom Duane (D-Manhattan), who was instrumental in securing the grant funding. “I am pleased that I was able to direct funds to this effort to harness New York’s research talent to address one of our state’s most pressing health challenges.”

New York State has one of the largest populations of people living with HIV or AIDS—more than 120,000 people in 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—in the United States. The Consortium, which includes 29 New York-area groups dedicated to basic and clinical AIDS research; policy; and social, behavioral, and prevention research, worked with amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, to fund these awards.

Dr. Carolyn Chu of the Montefiore Medical Center will characterize and evaluate the health service delivery and treatment outcomes of HIV patients who are being treated in primary care clinics in the Bronx. Because a significant proportion of the patients who are most vulnerable to HIV are treated within primary care settings, Dr. Chu hopes her research will help establish the relative effectiveness of this type of treatment compared to clinics that specialize in HIV care. The findings could help guide future efforts to maximize the quality of care for the greatest number of patients.

Dr. Susan Abramowitz of NYU School of Medicine will evaluate interventions for HIV-infected adolescents, who have low medication adherence rates because of a sense of isolation and stigma. The development of a skills management program that could increase adherence rates would improve the health outcomes of these young people and ease their transition into adult care.

The Consortium steering committee members are Jack A. DeHovitz, MD, MPH, professor at SUNY Downstate Medical Center; Sherry Deren, PhD, senior research scientist at the NYU College of Nursing; Anke A. Ehrhardt, PhD, vice chair for academic affairs and professor of medical psychology (in psychiatry), New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University; and Gene D. Morse, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS, professor and associate director at the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences at the University of Buffalo.

“The need for research and new tools to address the epidemic in New York State is more pressing than ever,” DeHovitz said. “The Consortium is pleased to be able to support these two research projects, and we are hopeful that they represent the beginning of a focused HIV/AIDS research effort in New York, for New York.”