In recognition of National HIV Testing Day, the Third Coast CFAR’s Ending the HIV Epidemic Scientific Working Group hosted a virtual seminar on Monday, June 26, 2023, featuring Chicago-based investigators leading the Limited Interaction Targeted Epidemiology (LITE) cohort studies. Speakers included Audrey French, MD; Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH; Amy Johnson, PhD; Lisa Kuhns, PhD, MPH; and Michael Newcomb, PhD. The presenters discussed how their LITE studies utilize virtual observational methods to investigate the HIV epidemic. They also presented on digital interventions for HIV prevention and treatment for youth and adults in the US. The seminar was moderated by Jorge Cestou, PhD, MBA, director of research at the Chicago Department of Public Health. Gerald Sharp, DrPH, epidemiologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), briefly discussed the LITE RFAs.
Audrey French, MD, presented “Keeping it LITE 2: Exploring HIV Risk in Vulnerable Youth with Limited Interaction and Digital Health Intervention (LITE-2).” Dr. French is director of research at the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center and professor of infectious diseases at RUSH Medical College.
Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH, presented “MyPEEPS Mobile LITE: Limited Interaction Efficacy Trial of MyPEEPS Mobile to Reduce HIV Incidence and Better Understand the Epidemiology of HIV among YMSM.” Dr. Garofalo is chief of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine and director of the Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV Prevention at Lurie Children’s.
Amy Johnson, PhD, presented “Examining Social Ecological and Network Factors to Assess Epidemiological Risk in a Large National Cohort of Cisgender Women.” Dr. Johnson is a research associate professor of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Lurie Children’s.
Lisa Kuhns, PhD, MPH, presented “Digital, Limited Interaction Efficacy Trial of LifeSkills Mobile to Reduce HIV Incidence in Young Transgender Women.” Dr. Kuhns is a research associate professor of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Lurie Children’s. She is also associate director of the Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV Prevention.
Michael Newcomb, PhD, presented “Effectiveness of Relationship Education for Reducing HIV Incidence in Men Who Have Sex with Men.” Dr. Newcomb is an associate professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University and director of the Center for Translational Health Research and Interventions Advancing Equity for Sexual and Gender Minorities (THRIVE) at ISGMH.
Jorge Cestou, PhD, MBA, is director of research, strategy, and development at the Chicago Department of Public Health. In this role, he is responsible for connecting academic researchers interested in advancing syndemic infectious disease eradicating efforts into public health efforts and translating research findings into practical and effective clinical and community services.