UNC Global HIV Prevention and Treatment Clinical Trials Unit

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The Global HIV Prevention and Treatment Clinical Trials Unit at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is dedicated to conducting and developing research of HIV infection and providing access to promising clinical protocols to persons living with and without HIV.

Click the link to see a map of where the UNC Clinical Trials Unit works around the globe, to learn more about studies that are currently enrolling, and read about the $40 million award from the National Institutes of Health for a clinical trials unit.

2BeatHIV Educates Public About HIV

Our understanding of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has come a long way since it was first named in 1986. Yet little of this new information about the virus, which still infects 50,000 new people each year in the United States, seems to have made its way into the general public. A research project out of UNC called 2BeatHIV is trying to change that.

Infection with HIV, which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) over time, was once a death sentence. But thanks to three decades of intensive study by researchers all over the world, HIV/AIDS has become a manageable chronic infection. With proper treatment, HIV-positive individuals enjoy a near normal life expectancy and researchers are hopeful that an effective vaccine could be developed in the coming years.

But no one, it seems, has told the general public. Despite landmark study results about treatment as prevention being released in 2011 and 2015 by UNC researchers, 44 percent of Americans believe that anti-HIV medications do not prevent the spread of HIV. The survey, conducted by The Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation, also found that more than a third of respondents (34 percent) incorrectly thought HIV could be transmitted by sharing a drinking glass, touching a toilet seat or swimming in a pool with someone living with HIV.

This has obvious repercussions for people living with the virus and the stigma that continues to be associated with it. The goal of 2BeatHIV is to get the public informed about HIV and invested in finding a cure for the disease.

The project, which is nested within UNC’s searcHIV working group, is headed up by Allison Mathews, PhD, a post-doc with a dual appointment in both the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases and the Department of Social Medicine.

Read more here…


UNC bioethicist addresses lack of HIV studies in pregnant women

UNC School of Medicine’s Anne Lyerly is addressing the urgent need for effective HIV prevention and treatment for the estimated 1.5 million women worldwide with HIV who give birth each year. With a $3 million NIH grant, Dr. Lyerly is leading an interdisciplinary team of researchers to determine what barriers prevent investigators from studying the virus in pregnant women.

Lyerly, associate director of the UNC Center for Bioethics and associate professor of social medicine at the UNC School of Medicine, is also an obstetrician/gynecologist who studies ethically complex clinical and policy issues related to women’s reproductive health.

In the August issue of the Journal of the International AIDS Society, Lyerly addresses the lack of research of HIV-positive pregnant women and pregnant women who are at risk of contracting HIV, which has “led to a dearth of evidence to guide safe and effective treatment and prevention of HIV in pregnancy,” Lyerly wrote.

In the research on the HIV-positive pregnant women that has been done, most outcomes focus entirely on the health of the fetus. Pregnant women are excluded from the vast majority of studies, including studies on how to best prevent HIV.

Read more here…

Healing with CAARE, Inc. Hosts Leadership Awards Gala

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UNC Graduate students celebrate at the Gala with Dr. Cheryl Giscombe (Mental Health Program Director and Academic Partner at CAARE) and Ms. Carolyn Hinton (Executive Director of CAARE, Inc.)

On Friday December 4, 2015, Healing with CAARE, Inc. hosted its inaugural Jeanne Hopkins Lucas Education and Wellness Center Leadership Awards Gala. The Gala was planned to celebrate CAARE’s 20th Year of Service in Healthcare Innovation for Durham, NC and surrounding, while recognizing and honoring outstanding community leaders and volunteers who have provided valuable services to CAARE’s overall mission, to eliminate health disparities and provide holistic care to underserved populations.

Keynote Speaker United States Deputy Surgeon General, Rear Admiral (RADM) Sylvia Trent-Adams, spoke about how CAARE, Inc. serves as a model for community development and public health solutions that should be implemented across the country. As Deputy Surgeon General, RADM Sylvia Trent-Adams advises and supports the Surgeon General regarding operations of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps and in communicating the best available scientific information to advance the health of the nation. She has served as the Chief Nurse Officer of the Public Health Service since November 2013. In this role she advises the Office of the Surgeon General and the Department of Health and Human Services on the recruitment, assignment, deployment, retention, and career development of Corps nurse professionals. RADM Trent-Adams spoke of the importance of partnering with organizations like CAARE to serve the community and work to address health disparities and social determinants of health. The work of the USPHS is much like that of CAARE as it strives to protect, promote, and advance the health and safety of the nation.

Healing with CAARE, Inc. was founded in 1995 by sisters and Durham natives, Dr. Sharon Elliott-Bynum and the late Patricia Riley Amaechi as a result of their dedication to serving the needs of the Durham community. For twenty years, CAARE has provided free health care, public health education, and human services to thousands of uninsured and underserved individuals. Currently, the agency serves more than 1,100 individuals every month.

The CAARE Gala was organized to bring together a variety of community leaders, partners, volunteers and community constituents who support the mission and vision of Healing with CAARE, Inc. The special event was planned to accomplish three major goals: (1) Celebrate Healing with CAARE’s 20th Year of Service and Healthcare Innovation for Durham, NC and surrounding counties; (2) Recognize and honor outstanding community leaders and volunteers who have provided valuable service to Healing with CAARE, Inc. in support of the agency’s overall mission to eliminate health disparities and provide holistic care to underserved populations; and (3) Raise funds for Healing with CAARE’s campaign to support the health and human services provided by the Jeanne Hopkins Lucas Education and Wellness Center and other programs at CAARE.

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Deputy Surgeon General (Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams) and Captain Beverly Dandridge from the U.S. Public Health Service

The Education and Wellness Center at Healing with CAARE is named after the late Jeanne Hopkins Lucas, the first African American woman elected to serve in North Carolina’s State Senate. Senator Lucas was a retired educator and educational administrator in the Durham Public Schools prior to serving as a State Senator; she was re-elected six times. Senator Lucas was a fierce advocate for education and health access for underserved populations. Senator Lucas was also a mentor to CAARE’s founder Dr. Sharon Elliott-Bynum, and she supported the development of the Education and Wellness Center at Healing with CAARE. Proceeds from the Gala will support the Jeanne Hopkins Lucas Education and Wellness Center to further continue services and to expand the agency’s reach to improve health and human services to the Durham community and surrounding counties.

Dr. Carol Golin shared, “The Gala event was a wonderful way to honor and pay tribute to Dr. Sharon Elliot-Bynum. Several of us from the CFAR, including CFAR Director Ron Swanstrom and Code Office Executive Director, Caressa White attended the event to express our gratitude to Dr. Bynum and CAARE, Inc for their generosity in fostering partnerships between CAARE and CFAR researchers. It was inspiring to take stock of the many, many ways Dr. Bynum and Healing with CAARE, Inc. have contributed to the Durham community over the past 20 years. One of Dr. Bynum’s many leadership skills was her ability to inspire generosity in others to volunteer their talents and resources to CAARE and this was how she was able to grow such a vibrant organization. I felt very honored and grateful to be able to be at this lovely event.”

Visit this page to read a tribute to the life and work of Dr. Sharon Elliot-Bynum.

CUREiculum Webinar Series: Latency Reversing Agents

The CUREiculum is a suite of tools that provides simple, accessible information on HIV cure research. As part of the effort to increase research literacy around cure, the CUREiculum team, a collaboration of community educators, researchers and advocacy organizations, will be presenting a webinar series that focus on issue-specific topics crucial to understanding the research landscape.

Latency Reversing Agents
Thursday March 26th, 4 pm ET

This webinar will feature Dr. David Margolis, Principal Investigator of the CARE Collaboratory at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Dr. Sharon Lewin member of the DARE Collaboratory and Director of the Infectious Disease department at Monash University. Latency reversing agents are biological compounds used to “wake up” HIV infected cells from their resting state in the body. The drugs are used as the “kick”, the first in a two phase strategy often called “kick and kill”. Both researchers will discuss what latency reversing agents are and how the research might contribute to a combination curative strategy.

Register here for webinar details!

For more information, please contact Jessica or Karine.

Future Initiatives for the UNC CFAR HIV Clinical Cohort (UCHCC)

cfarlogoThe UNC-CFAR HIV/AIDS Clinical Cohort sponsors a bi-monthly meeting for discussing methods in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Infectious Diseases.

Future Initiatives for the UNC CFAR HIV Clinical Cohort (UCHCC)
A discussion of future pathways and areas of focus for research using the Cohort

Friday, December 19, 2014
1:30 – 3:30 pm
2127 Bioinformatics Building, UNC-CH Campus

Hepatitis C Basic Educator Training

The UNC Liver Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is organizing a Hepatitis C Training Workshop with The Hepatitis C Support Project. Participants who attend the training will obtain certification as “HCV Basic Educators.” Registrants must stay for the entire workshop, complete quizzes, and help to develop a ‘Plan of Action’ in order to receive a certificate.

Tuesday October 14, 2014
8:30am – 5:00pm
Holiday Inn at the RDU Airport

These categories of clinicians and health care workers can benefit from attendance: nurses and mid-level providers who screen, test and refer for Hep C; HIV/STD counselors and testers; substance abuse counselors; methadone maintenance counselors; case managers; mental health professionals; support group leaders; people living with HCV; and other interested healthcare or public health professionals.

The training is being offered at no cost to participants. Coffee, lunch and snacks will be provided.

Confirm your attendance by completing and returning the attached Registration Form to Teodora Stoica or Rachel Jones or fax to their attention at 919-966-1700.

The deadline for registration is Friday, October 3rd.

NC TraCS Institute Research Open House

open houseJoin the NC TraCS Institute for their Open House, filled with presentations on issues, resources, and services related to research.

October 1, 2014
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
2nd floor of the Brinkhous-Bullitt Building
UNC-Chapel Hill Campus

Presentations will explore:

• Innovation in health data dissemination
• Research and Latino populations
• Community engagement in research and Community Advisory Boards
• Comparative Effectiveness Research
• Promoting entrepreneurship through academic corporate partnerships

CAARE, Inc’s Executive Director, Dr. Sharon Elliott-Bynum, will present “Nothing About Us Without Us- Community Engagement in Research” from 1:30-2:00pm in room 226.

See the full schedule here.