EHE Scientific Working Group
Inger Burnett-Zeigler, PhD
Gregory L. Phillips II, PhD, MS
The Ending the HIV Epidemic Scientific Working Group (EHE SWG) aims to catalyze collaborations that promote the adoption and integration of evidence-based practices, interventions, and policies into routine health care and public health that can help end the HIV epidemic. Drawing on the Third Coast CFAR’s strengths in implementation science and partnership building, the SWG responds to the federal initiative Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE).
EHE emphasizes the implementation of existing tools to reduce the number of new HIV diagnoses in the 48 counties that account for half of HIV cases in the U.S. Illinois’ Cook County ranks third on this list, despite a decreasing number of new HIV cases each year and improved prevention efforts. The initiative dedicates federal resources to reduce new HIV diagnoses by 75% by 2025 and 90% by 2030. EHE categorizes existing tools ready for scale up by four pillars: diagnose, treat, prevent, and respond.
In order to accomplish EHE goals, NIH, CDC, and HRSA are working together to mobilize an effective response. New RFAs as part of EHE have been issued in late 2019, with additional RFAs planned for 2020. These unanticipated funds will bolster established efforts, particularly Getting to Zero Illinois (GTZ-IL) and position the EHE SWG to spur innovative science-practice partnerships to eliminate new HIV cases by 2030.
Foundation of the EHE SWG
Over 30 university-based investigators and community-based providers have joined the EHE SWG. Preliminary ideas for EHE SWG topics and ‘action teams’ are included in comprehensive notes from the introductory meeting. Chicago-area faculty and staff from community-based organizations that provide HIV testing, prevention, and care services are eligible to join the EHE SWG. Contact Justin Schmandt to receive updates and invitations to SWG activities.
Support for EHE SWG Activities
The CFAR Developmental Core accepted the first round of applications for EHE Planning Awards in September 2019. The SWG leadership congratulates the six teams selected to lead projects that address all four of EHE’s pillars and focus on a number of priority populations in Chicago. The CFAR’s scientific cores will support the funded projects, as the SWG continues to generate new collaborative projects through continued engagement with a growing number of local constituents. The EHE Planning Awards complement the four CFAR Administrative Supplements NIH awarded to Third Coast CFAR teams in August 2019, establishing new research-practice partnerships to support the EHE initiative.
Federal Funding Opportunities Targeting EHE
RFA-MH-20-520 Implementation Research in HRSA Ryan White Sites: Screening and Treatment for Mental and Substance Use Disorders to Further the National “Ending the HIV Epidemic” Goals (R01 Clinical Trial Optional) (Due 01/31/2020)
Agency and Stakeholder Statements on EHE