The University of Miami Developmental human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) Mental Health Research Center, one of the AIDS Research Center programs funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), recently received awards to support three projects. Dr. Mariano Kanamori, assistant professor at the University of Miami Department of Public Health Sciences, will serve as project investigator for one those projects, titled, “FINISHING HIV: An HIV protection, diagnosis, and treatment network for Latinos”.
Miami-Dade County is known for being the epicenter of the HIV epidemic in the United States and where 61 percent of Latinos account for HIV diagnoses. Latino gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) account for 92 percent of new diagnoses.
The project will use a pharmacy and parks network to increase awareness and utilization of HIV protection, diagnosis, and treatment services by these three distinct Latino MSM subgroups in the county. The one-year award will help lay the groundwork by gathering essential data needed for the development of the projects, as well as for its rapid implementation.
The pharmacy network, which will include Walgreens, CVS, Navarro and Target pharmacies, will implement HIV testing and prevention by administering PrEP and distributing condoms, as well as treatment services, such as antiretroviral treatment (ART) referrals. In the parks network, they will compile recommendations for HIV-prevention activities in Miami-Dade County parks, as well as in other community areas. This will be done in partnership with Latinos Salud, a South Florida-based Latino MSM HIV-agency and with the Miami-Dade County Department of Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces.
Dr. Kanamori will work on the project with Latinos, MSM, and researchers working with Latino MSM.Tags: Friday Letter Submission, Publish on September 27