Supporting and Partnering: Research at AHP

Trans bathroom symbol Tim Yankowsky

“Superhero”, Tim Yankosky

AHP seeks to provide the highest quality care to our clients and develop programs that go beyond meeting client needs to anticipating them. But the process does not stop, or start, on the front lines. First, AHP has done groundbreaking research to create and study new interventions to save lives. Most notably, AHP developed and proved the efficacy of one of the most widely used HIV testing interventions in the United States—Personalized Cognitive Counseling—which serves, in particular, men who have sex with men and trans women. Second, AHP takes its research and frontline counseling work to a broader audience by developing technical assistance approaches to train providers throughout the United States.

AHP also recognizes the tremendous resources that our sibling programs at UCSF provide. In order to support these initiatives, AHP shares our clinic with several key research programs that seek to expand the proven options to enhance the lives of folks from AHP’s target populations:

ARTEMIS (Affect Regulation Treatment to Enhance Methamphetamine Intervention Success) 
ARTEMIS is a “booster” to the Stonewall Project’s Positive Reinforcement Opportunity Project. PROP offers praise and gift cards to help men who have sex with men and trans women stop using methamphetamines. ARTEMIS seeks to improve upon PROP’s effectiveness by testing a technique—a five-session positive affect-based intervention—to help clients better cope with the challenges of substance use treatment by recognizing their own positive moods. Onsite study staff includes Lara Coffin, Maya Earle, Walter Gomez, Justin Lagana-Jackson and David Olem. 

C4C (Connect4Care) 
C4C examines the effectiveness of a texting intervention to help people living with HIV stay in lifesaving medical care. Half of 230 Positive Health Program patients receive text message appointment reminders; the other half receives these appointment reminders plus, three times per week, inspirational and motivational text messages. Onsite study staff includes Lara Coffin and Jason Johnson.

Center of Excellence for Transgender Health Studies
The Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, affiliated with the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies and the Pacific AIDS Education Training Center, is one of the leading trans health research and capacity-building programs in the country. Among the studies that are, or have been, based at AHP are: Sheroes, which tested the effect of social learning theory-based intervention on sexual risk behavior and self-reported sexually transmitted infection testing, including HIV testing, and Healthy Divas, We Are All Women and Girlfriends Connect, all of which are ongoing. AHP-sited study staff includes Lara Coffin, Drusilla Dexter, Luis Gutierrez-Mock, Akira Jackson, Breonna McCree, Christina Rodriguez, Luna Salemme, Caroline Watson and Shannon Weber. Jae Sevelius, the Primary Investigator of the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health studies described above, is also located at AHP.

The PULSE (Polysubstance Use and Health Outcomes Evaluation) Study 
Over the course of 10 sessions, PULSE researchers seek to clarify how multiple risk factors such as mental illness, substance use, and social factors affect cardiac health among unstably housed and homeless women. This underserved population can be hard to study, because unstable housing can lead to and be accompanied by unstable lives. Onsite study staff includes Ally Noyes and Amanda Wade.

UCSF Stress Study 
The UCSF Stress Study looks at the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy on the mental and physical health of HIV-positive men who have sex with men. Researchers will measure the impact of stress on mental health outcomes and the expression of certain genes both before and after therapy 10 sessions of therapy that focuses on reducing of minority-related stress. Study staff located at AHP include Maya Earle, Walter Gomez, Annesa Flentje, Katie Katuzny, Alexander Kleinberg, Justin Lagana-Jackson, Ally Noyes, David Olem and Amanda Wade.

Researchers from all the studies report that participants and staff value the warm, friendly atmosphere that AHP provides and we are excited to have them join us in serving San Francisco’s LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities!