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Injection Risk Networks in Rural Puerto Rico

Overview:

This project is investigating HIV and Hepatitis C risk among injection drug users in central rural Puerto Rico and ultimately, aims to use this research to reduce the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C in Puerto Rico by identifying effective prevention strategies.

Between 2014 and 2019, we will interview more than 600 people who inject drugs and ask them about their risk behaviors, injection risk partners, and about their lives in rural Puerto Rico. Each participant will also complete a rapid HIV and Hepatitis C test. The analytical portion of the project involves simulating risk social networks on a regional scale, and testing the simulation effects of a range of interventions.

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Project Details

Overview:

This project is investigating HIV and Hepatitis C risk among injection drug users in central rural Puerto Rico and ultimately, aims to use this research to reduce the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C in Puerto Rico by identifying effective prevention strategies. Between 2014 and 2019, we will interview more than 600 people who inject drugs and ask them about their risk behaviors, injection risk partners, and about their lives in rural Puerto Rico. Each participant will also complete a rapid HIV and Hepatitis C test. The analytical portion of the project involves simulating risk social networks on a regional scale, and testing the simulation effects of a range of interventions.

Funding:

“Injection Risk Networks in Rural Puerto Rico” is funded by the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) R01-DA037117). PIs Kirk Dombrowski (UNL). Bilal Khan (CUNY) and Juan Carlos Reyes (UPR Med Cent) are joined by Field Director Roberto Abadie (UNL) and Projector Director Melissa Welch-Lazoritz (UNL, consultants Camila Gelpi-Acosta and Ric Curtis (CUNY), and Richard Garfein (UCSD Med Sch).

Team:

The leader of this work at REACH is Kirk Dombrowski, with help of Melissa Welch-Lazoritz (Project Director) and Colleen Syron (Communications Director). The field team in Puerto Rico includes Roberto Abadie (Field Director), Carmen Ana Davila (Field Researcher) and Angelica Rivera (Field Researcher). Juan Carlos Reyes (PI) is the local Principal Investigator at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine and Bilal Khan (PI) is leading the data simulation phase at the City University of New York. El Punto en la Montaña, the only syringe exchange program in rural central Puerto Rico, serves as our community partner for this project.