The UW/Fred Hutch CFAR Behavioral Science Core is pleased to offer an exciting opportunity for underrepresented early stage investigators with an interest in sociobehavioral research related to HIV treatment in the U.S. or Africa to work with us to develop a diversity supplement (see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/pa-18-586.html) proposal related to our current R01-funded Project PREFER (see below). Examples of projects that could build on Project PREFER include in-depth interviews or focus group discussions with patient groups to explain PREFER findings or the development of a discrete choice experiment for HIV care providers that would allow us to contrast patient with provider views. Candidates should be from an underrepresented group eligible for NIH diversity supplements (see https://www.nimhd.nih.gov/programs/extramural/training-career-dev/research-supplements/diversity-supplements.html).
Preferred qualifications are an MD or PhD degree/candidacy and demonstrated interest in HIV research. We also encourage inquiries from pre-doctoral candidates within 1-2 years of completing their thesis and with publications in the area of HIV treatment or prevention. Prior publications or awards will strengthen the application. Please contact Multiple Principal Investigators Susan Graham (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jane Simoni (email@example.com) for further information.
Project PREFER (1R01 MH121424A1)
The development of sustained-release or long-acting injectable antiretroviral therapy (LAI ART) is an important technological advance that could increase ART uptake and adherence by providing new options to support viral load suppression. Project PREFER is a 5-year funded R01 project to investigate patient preferences for LAI ART compared to current daily oral medications. PREFER has the following aims: (1) To design and pilot test a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to identify product and delivery attributes related to LAI ART acceptability among patients in the United States (US), based on our prior work and key informant interviews; (2) To recruit 200 ART naïve-individuals and 500 ART-experienced individuals in Seattle and Atlanta for a DCE to estimate LAI ART product preferences and identify patient characteristics associated with acceptability among these two key potential end-user groups; and (3) To design and pilot test a similar DCE instrument for use in Kenya, then recruit 200 ART naïve-individuals and 500 ART-experienced individuals in Nairobi to learn about patient preferences in the region most impacted by the HIV epidemic. Innovations in the proposed research include a focus on novel LAI ART products in development, inclusion of two patient perspectives (i.e., those just starting treatment and those considering a switch), and exploration of how individual characteristics including prior ART adherence and treatment outcomes influence patient preferences. Our multidisciplinary team includes clinical researchers, behavioral scientists, and health economists with expertise in DCE design and modeling from the University of Washington (UW), RTI International, and Emory University in the US, and from Kenyatta National Hospital in Kenya. The proposed work will take place at two AIDS Clinical Trials Group clinical research sites in the US (i.e., the UW AIDS Clinical Trials Unit in Seattle and the Ponce de Leon Center in Atlanta), and at two HIV clinics within Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, which has been a site for collaborative research with the UW’s Kenya Research and Training Program for over 25 years. This research will advance LAI ART product development efforts by providing key estimates of acceptability and patient preferences, enabling funders, product developers, and policy makers to optimize products for the greatest likelihood of uptake, adherence, and long-term viral suppression.