Dr. Elaine J. Abrams, ICAP’s senior research director and professor of epidemiology and pediatrics at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, was awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to develop a multi-component intervention to improve retention in HIV care and adherence to HIV medicines among adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) in Nampula, Mozambique. Dr. Abrams is one of eight awardees to share in this $9 million grant program to generate scientific innovation that will yield effective public health interventions for adolescents and young adults affected by HIV in low and middle income countries.
The study, called CombinADO, is a multi-phased project with the initial phase taking place over two years. During this Phase 1, an international multi-disciplinary team of researchers will collaborate to develop and pilot an adolescent-focused, multicomponent intervention strategy, that consists of four components: 1) ALHIV peer navigation and support, 2) adolescent-friendly services, 3) mHealth technologies, and 4) health communication messaging. In Phase 2, the impact of the intervention strategy on retention, ART adherence and viral suppression will be tested in a randomized clinical trial.
[Photo: Dr. Elaine J. Abrams]
At ICAP, Dr. Abrams leads a large and varied research portfolio that addresses critical scientific questions in HIV prevention, care and treatment. She is also responsible for the development and implementation of pediatric and perinatal prevention initiatives within ICAP-supported programs in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Dr. Abrams has conducted multiple clinical trials and implementation science studies in the area of maternal and child HIV. She is currently the chair of the HIV Treatment Committee within the NIH-funded IMPAACT network and chaired the WHO 2016 and 2018 antiretroviral treatment guidelines committees.
Funding for the CombinADO study will be provided by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and other NIH components, including the Office of AIDS Research, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research.