Researchers in the Milken Institute School of Public Health received a $25 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue combating the D.C. HIV epidemic, according to a release Monday.
The release states that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – a branch of the NIH – will fund an expansion of the D.C. Cohort, a study that aims to improve health care for people living with HIV in the D.C. area, for the next five years. Amanda Castel, a professor of epidemiology who leads the cohort, said the study is a “unique” resource that allows researchers to study health outcomes and monitor the efficacy of public policy aimed at mitigating the impact of HIV.
“As we work to end the HIV epidemic, the ability to characterize people who are diagnosed with HIV, effectively direct treatment efforts and use novel tools to improve the quality of care for people living with HIV while simultaneously averting further transmissions are of critical importance,” Castel said in the release. “We hope this project helps generate lessons that can be used in other urban areas battling HIV across the United States.”
Researchers will use the grant funding to expand the cohort’s clinical database and begin using pharmacy, administrative and patient-reported outcomes to inform public health scholars on the extent of the epidemic, the release states.
The cohort is also part of the District of Columbia Center for AIDS Research, a D.C.-wide research consortium based in the public health school, according to the release.