2013

UCLA gets $7M to study substance abuse and HIV among minority men who have sex with men


The National Institute on Drug Abuse has awarded UCLA a $7 million grant to investigate the links between substance abuse and HIV.

Pamina Gorbach

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has awarded UCLA a $7 million grant to investigate the links between substance abuse and HIV among Latino and African-American men who have sex with men.

Researchers will examine how non-injected drugs and alcohol can directly interact with the virus and other infectious diseases, to damage these men's health. Enrollment in the study begins in January.

Called MASCULINE (MSM and Substances Cohort at UCLA Linking Infections Noting Effects), the study will be led by Pamina Gorbach, a professor of epidemiology at UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health and a professor of infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Steven Shoptaw, a professor of family medicine at the Geffen School and director of the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine.  

For the study, researchers will establish and maintain an extensive repository of tissue, blood and fluid samples. This repository will be headed by Dr. Peter Anton, a professor of digestive diseases at the Geffen School. Anton, Gorbach and Shoptaw are also members of the UCLA AIDS Institute.  

"Alcohol, non-injection use of cocaine and methamphetamine are linked to HIV sexual risk behaviors and transmission of infectious disease," Gorbach said. "But little is known about how these substances can affect biology to produce health threats among those living with or at risk for HIV — especially among minority men who have sex with men."  

MASCULINE will be a companion study to the Multisite AIDS Cohort Study, the first and largest study specifically created to examine the natural history of AIDS. It will be conducted through the Fielding School's Behavioral Epidemiology Research Group.

A team of clinical researchers, epidemiologists and basic scientists will collaborate to examine the direct effects of drug use on HIV acquisition and treatment, with the primary aim of determining whether and how the use of stimulants and other substances impacts the transmission of HIV and other infections among minority males who have sex with men whose HIV is poorly controlled or who are at high risk of being infected with the virus.  

The study will involve a cohort of young substance users — particularly users of stimulants — who have poor histories of adhering to antiretroviral treatment, allowing researchers to test the biological influences of substances on immune function.  

Findings from this unique cohort will shed light on the effects of substance use on the behaviors and clinical outcomes of both HIV-positive and high-risk, HIV-negative minority men that can ultimately be used to improve access to HIV prevention, treatment and care.  

The epidemic of HIV among minority men who have sex with men in Los Angeles County, as well as in the U.S. as a whole, may be driven by the effects of drug use on individuals' adherence to their treatment regimens and on biobehavioral prevention, and it may be enhanced by network effects, the researchers said.  

"This cohort is central to prevention and treatment efforts and will provide well-characterized, extensive repository samples for leveraged use with other cohorts, networks and individual's studies," Shoptaw said. "This unique cohort will facilitate studies on interactions between substance use and HIV progression and transmission, which are of critical public health significance."   

The L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center will be one of the community sites for recruitment of HIV-positive participants for the study; the UCLA Vine Street Clinic will recruit HIV-negative participants.  

The MASCULINE study is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health (U01DA036267).

Faculty Referenced by this Article

Pamina Gorbach
Pamina Gorbach
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Vonthanak Saphonn
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Roch Nianogo
Roch A. Nianogo
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Headshot
Christie Jeon
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Paul Dluzniewski
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Tony Kuo
Tony Kuo
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Dvora Joseph Davey
Dvora Joseph Davey

Dr. Joseph Davey is an infectious disease epidemiologist with over 20 years' experience leading research on HIV/STI services for women and children.

Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Anne Rimoin
Anne Rimoin
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Julia Heck
Julia Heck
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Peter R. Kerndt
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Jonathan Jacobs
Jonathan Jacobs
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Liwei Chen
Liwei Chen

Professor in Epidemiology

Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Jody Heymann
Jody Heymann
Epidemiology Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Roger Detels
Roger Detels
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Alexandra Binder Headshot
Alexandra Binder
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Ximena Vergara
Ximena Vergara
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Niklas Krause
Environmental Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Karin Michels
Karin B. Michels
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Hashibe, Mia
Mia Hashibe
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Jørn Olsen
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Shira Shafir
Shira Shafir
Community Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Brian Bradbury
Brian Bradbury
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Peter Katona
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Amy Wohl
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Ralph R. Frerichs, 12/25/21
Ralph R. Frerichs
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Otoniel Martinez-Maza
Otoniel Martinez-Maza
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Nathan Wong
Nathan D. Wong
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Jian Li
Jian Li
Environmental Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Kelika Konda
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Susan Cochran
Susan Cochran
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
DerSarkissian, Maral
Maral DerSarkissian
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Frank J. Sorvillo
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Marissa J. Seamans
Marissa Seamans
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Paul Simon Headshot
Paul Simon
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Beate Ritz
Beate Ritz
Environmental Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Dallas Swendeman
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Paul Hsu
Paul Hsu
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Onyebuchi Arah headshot
Onyebuchi A. Arah
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Annette Regan
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Catherine Carpenter
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Robert Kim-Farley
Robert J. Kim-Farley

Robert J. Kim-Farley, MD, MPH, is a Professor-in-Residence with joint appointments in the Departments of Epidemiology and Community Health Sciences

Community Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Sander Greenland
Sander Greenland
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh
Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Nina Harawa
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Nicole Hoff
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Woman dressed in blue and wearing pearls and eye glasses
Lisa V. Smith
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Marjan Javanbakht
Marjan Javanbakht
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang
Zuo-Feng Zhang
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Haroutune Armenian
Haroutune Armenian
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Emily Beeler
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Aziz, Najib headshot_2023
Najib Aziz
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Jian Yu Rao
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Roberta Malmgren
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Noel Weiss
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Timothy Brewer
Timothy Brewer
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Matthew Mimiaga
Matthew J. Mimiaga
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Naomi Greene
Naomi Greene
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Bailley, Julia
Julia Bailey
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Lawrence Ash
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Anne Coleman
Anne Coleman
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Elizabeth Rose Mayeda photo
Elizabeth Rose Mayeda
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
sheena sullivan photo
Sheena G. Sullivan
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Ondine S. von Ehrenstein
Community Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Leeka I. Kheifets
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Sung-Jae Lee
Sung-Jae Lee
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Teresa Ellen Seeman
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Su Yong Jung
Su Yon Jung
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Akihiro Nishi Headshot
Akihiro Nishi
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile