Mechanisms of Disparities for HIV-Related Comorbidities in Health Disparity Populations (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Program Description

NIMHD is promoting an initiative to understand the mechanisms and effects of HIV-related comorbidities on the complexity of disease progression, quality of life, and overall health outcomes among HIV-positive individuals in health disparity populations. NIMHD is particularly interested in supporting multidisciplinary translational, population science, epidemiological, behavioral, and health services projects. NIMHD has a specific interest in projects that will explain HIV/AIDS comorbid health outcomes in health disparity populations by examining the impact of different factors (biological, behavioral, sociocultural, environmental, physical environment, health care system) at multiple levels (i.e., individual, interpersonal, community, societal).

HIV disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities, including African Americans, Latinos, and American Indians/Alaska Natives. Many individuals who are HIV-positive are able to control their HIV infection and live longer lives, but as they age, they are susceptible to coinfections and other co-occurring chronic conditions and diseases. Co-infections and co-occurring chronic conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney diseases are reported to be higher in HIV-positive individuals, and disproportionately affect racial/ethnic minority populations. These comorbidities can increase the complexity of HIV progression, can complicate clinical care and result in poor quality of life and worse health outcomes, especially for patients from health disparity populations.

Research is needed to understand the extent to which comorbidities cause worse health outcomes in those living with HIV, as well as the underlying mechanisms of how comorbidities affect HIV disease progression and contribute to health disparities. The goal is to better understand how these comorbidities, along with social and environmental stressors, increase the complexity of HIV disease progression, lead to poorer health-related quality of life, and affect treatment outcomes in HIV-positive individuals from health disparity populations.

NIH Guide No.: RFA-MD-18-002

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