California HIV/AIDS Policy Research:
What’s Ahead in 2024

December 18, 2023

The California HIV Policy Research Centers (CHPRC) are a collaborative of academic and community partners funded by the California HIV/AIDS Research Program (CHRP). Together, three CHPRC support timely and impactful policy analyses that strengthen California’s capacity to enact evidence-based HIV-relevant policies informed by objective and rigorous research.

Collectively, the CHPRC published 24 research products across 14 topics, including topics such as pharmacy delivered PrEP; supervised consumption; over-the counter HIV/STD tests; and sexual and mental health for women.  These publications as well as our legislation tracker and information on relevant events are available on our new website.  This collective work continues to inform the statewide End the Epidemics (EHE) coalition, as we support data-driven policymaking.  Information about the accomplishments and priorities of each of the individual policy research centers are highlighted below.

Northern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center

The Northern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center is led by Dr. Emily Arnold (UCSF), Dr. Sandra McCoy (UCB), and Laura Thomas (San Francisco AIDS Foundation).  Achievements in 2023 included work to improve coordination and support for individuals returning to the community from state prison, identifying best strategies to integrate drug checking into harm reduction programs, examining the impact of climate change on HIV healthcare services, and predicting the impact of lost 340B revenue to HIV clinics.  In 2024, the Northern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center is planning to examine the impact of staffing shortages on the HIV healthcare system and is looking forward to working collaboratively with the other PRC on rapid response research addressing syndemic factors that contribute to HIV in California.

Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center

The Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center, led by Dr. Ian Holloway (UCLA) and Dr. Jamila Stockman (UCSD), celebrated a successful year of collaboration. Their collective work includes academic manuscripts, policy briefs, infographics, conference presentations, consultations with the California Board of Pharmacy, and has garnered additional state and federal funding.  In partnership with the State Office of AIDS and UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, they updated their GIS-enabled mapping tool Lens, which highlights overlapping data on HIV as well as mpox cases and vaccination throughout the state.  In 2024, they will examine the implementation of the California Healthy Youth Act, California’s comprehensive sex education law; the intersection of HIV and intimate partner violence; and strategies to implement integrated HIV prevention and treatment services, especially for women experiencing violence.

California Center for HIV Syndemic Policy Research

The California Center for HIV Syndemic Policy Research (CalCenSyn) is led by Dr. Laramie Smith (UCSD), Dr. Orlando Harris (UCSF), and Dr. Sabrina Smiley (SDSU).  CalCenSyn seeks to expose the root causes of HIV and syndemic conditions through community-focused capacity building. such as tobacco, substance use, and socio-structural barriers to treatment through its community-academic collaborative. In 2023, CalCenSyn published manuscripts about HIV/STD disparities and access to smoking cessation services and delivered oral presentations at The American Public Health Association Conference focused on the impact of police violence on mental health and mental health experiences of transgender smokers.  CalCenSyn’s 2024 priorities include collaborating with community partners in EHE counties and working with California Office of AIDS datasets for new analyses and publications related to center aims.