Human subjects are being recruited for the proposed study to participate in usability testing for a virtual reality technology tool to be refined for assessment and prevention of risky sexual and substance use behaviors. Specifically, 15 adolescents, 15 young men, and 15 front line health care providers will participate in qualitative interviews and focus groups. Targeted enrollment is based on estimates from the existing clinical population treated by the local clinics from which participants will be recruited and the candidate's experience conducting clinical studies at these sites.
The purpose of this study is to explore the use of a new treatment program to improve medication adherence for people with HIV and PTSD for patients at MUSC Ryan White clinic. Participants will be assigned to one of two groups. Participants in Group A will be asked to attend 12 clinic sessions (twice a week for 6 weeks, 90-minute sessions) via telehealth or in person at the MUSC Ryan White clinic. Participants in Group B will receive a one session adherence intervention (60 minutes) and get the same standard treatment that someone with a trauma history and co-occurring HIV and PTSD symptoms would receive at a local Ryan White clinic. The study is provided at no-cost, and participants may learn useful information and coping skills while being in the study. It is hoped the information that we get from this study will help researchers and clinicians better design treatment programs for people living with HIV and PTSD. Participants will receive study compensation for their time.
Many adolescents experience traumatic events, such as child abuse, physical or sexual assault, or witnessing violence. Teens who experience trauma are more likely to have problems with substance use and risky sexual activity. We want to understand how parents can support their teens and help keep them safe after traumatic events.
Recent studies suggest that rapid, within a few days, initiation of anti-retroviral therapies (ART) is associated with improved short-term adherence and virological suppression. As a result, there has been a national and international movement towards implementing rapid ART initiation in HIV clinics. A rapid ART initiation program is potentially an important HIV treatment as well as prevention intervention in South Carolina, a deep-south state where HIV incidence, morbidity and mortality remain high despite overall national trends in improved HIV outcomes and decreasing incidence. However, differences in health care systems, transportation challenges, local resources and structural barriers can influence the health outcomes of rapid ART initiation. Therefore, the goal of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of a rapid ART program and the impact of structural barriers on a rapid ART engagement program at the Palmetto Health USC Immunology clinic (PHUS ICC).
HIV testing is often shunned in community settings due to the stigma of HIV-centric services. Our recent pilot study strongly suggest that integration of a package of screening that include HIV, diabetes, and hypertension hold promise of substantially increasing the uptake of HIV testing while simultaneously providing direly needed community screening for non-communicable disease (NCDs) like diabetes and hypertension, which themselves are at epidemic levels in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study will examine whether integrating HIV screening with NCD screening will improve uptake of HIV testing and whether integrating HIV and NCD care will improve retention.
Treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is now possible with all oral medications. While most patients achieve a sustained virologic response (SVR) after treatment, synonymous with cure, some patients relapse after treatment for reasons that are unclear. The goal of this research is to understand how a person's immune system changes during treatment of HCV infection with all oral therapy, and how these changes might impact the chances of relapse after treatment. To address these questions, blood and clinical information will be collected from study participants over the course of receiving standard of care treatment for HCV infection. This blood and clinical information will be used to conduct laboratory research focused on the immune system.