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Priorities to End the Epidemics of HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STIs, and Overdose: Year in Review



Policy Center Research Products and Dissemination

To learn more about the Centers and to view the policy briefs, publications, data visualizations, and other products resulting from their researcher, please visit the CHRP support website dedicated to broadly disseminating their work. The website is

Policy Research

Supporting timely, objective and rigorously conducted research and policy analysis.

In 2021, we funded three HIV Policy Research Centers comprised of multi-disciplinary teams working in partnership with consumers, advocates, and policymakers. The goal of the Centers is to support timely and impactful policy analyses that are responsive to policy maker and other stakeholder needs in California and that strengthen local, state and national capacity to enact HIV-relevant policies informed by objective and rigorous research. The Centers will focus on rapid response research completed within a 6-month timeframe on policy issues that arise during the active grant period and through stakeholder engagement processes.

About the Centers

We the People: An HIV Policy Research Center that Works for All of California

  • Lead PI: Myriam Johnston, The Black AIDS Institute
  • Center Partners: The Black AIDS Institute, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, San Diego State University Research Foundation
  • Award Total: $2,000,000
  • Abstract: 

    The Black AIDS Institute (BAI), on behalf of a visionary, inter-sectional, statewide collaboration of academic and community partners. Our Center will draw on recommendations of We the People: A Black Plan to End HIV in America, which BAI launched in February 2020 following an intensive, collaborative process of community outreach, input and learning. We the People outlines a concrete, inter-sectional, actionable plan to end HIV for all communities, recognizing that current efforts are leaving far too many people behind. We intend to use this framework to inform all of the work of this Center including both HIV/AIDS and Tobacco-related health disparities policy work.

    The Center specifically aims to: a) Expand the policy discourse and evidence base for both HIV and tobacco control: Granular policy and program approaches that focus on HIV in isolation are not achieving optimal, equitable outcomes. In 2017 63% of white PLHIV in California were virally suppressed 6 months post- ART initiation, compared to Black (55%) and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (50%) PLHIV. These inequities stem from longstanding sociostructural factors – including entrenched poverty, housing instability, healthcare barriers, stigma and discrimination, mass incarceration, and unaddressed mental health and substance use– which are linked with racism, anti-LGBT bias and social exclusion. With the goal of improving equitable outcomes, the Center’s policy research will expand the HIV and tobacco policy discourse and evidence base to focus on under-addressed sociostructural factors driving health disparities. b) Integrate community and academic expertise: BAI’s established participatory mechanisms will enable community voices to shape, inform and increase the people-centered relevance of the Center’s policy research. Our academic partners bring substantial topical expertise and leverage global leadership in HIV research at their respective UC institutions. c) Generate timely, high-impact policy analysis: The Center will produce at least 4 rapid policy briefs annually, to be broadly and strategically disseminated state-wide to maximize impact. The Center will ensure rapid responses (≤6 months) to emerging policy issues, such as the impact of COVID-19 on HIV-related vulnerabilities and service access or the impact of public housing policies for tobacco use and any relationship with housing instability. Our briefs will rapidly expand the evidence base for effective action for HIV and tobacco policy. d) Link theory with policy implementation and evaluation: The Center will support at least one annual pilot project to evaluate the impact of policy interventions targeting sociostructural drivers of HIV disparities and outcomes. The Center will also include at least one annual pilot project that is focused on tobacco use and outcomes.

 Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center

  • Lead PI: Ian Holloway, UC Los Angeles 
  • Center Partners: UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego, UC Riverside, APLA Health, LA LGBT Center, and TruEvolution
  • Award Total: $2,000,000
  • Abstract: 

    Specific Aims. The Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center (SCHPRC) brings together academic and community experts to: (1) identify emerging HIV policy issues; (2) conduct objective, rigorous rapid response research to address HIV policy issues; and (3) bring relevant and timely policy research findings to bear on policy issues.

    Background. For over a decade, SCHPRC has led an academic-community policy research team in California, the state with the largest number of people living with HIV. SCHPRC’s next phase will include new partners from San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. This will help ensure greater representation from Southern California and will cultivate new leadership.

    Methods. Community and academic partners identify and prioritize important HIV policy issues through engaging consumers, providers, administrators, and policymakers. Academic partners use appropriate research methods to complete rapid response research in a 2-week to 6-month timeframe. Results are packaged into easily digestible research products (e.g. policy briefs, fact sheets) to maximize distribution. Community partners hold primary responsibility for placing SCHPRC research in the hands of decision-makers. SCHPRC will also design and implement an HIV Policy Early Warning System (EWS) targeting statewide healthcare and social service providers addressing HIV, hepatitis C and sexual transmitted diseases. EWS will help us to collect data on an ongoing basis to better understand drivers of the HIV epidemic, including the impact of stigma, poverty, homelessness, food insecurity, and criminal justice involvement especially among Queer, Black, Indigenous and people of color (QBIPOC).

    Impact. Policy impact is based on successful distribution of research products that inform ongoing debates that impact Californians living with and at risk for HIV. Through maintaining an active social media presence, fresh content on the CHPRC website, and regularly dispatched email newsletters, SCHPRC will demonstrate growth in becoming a leading source for HIV policy research in California and beyond.

Northern California HIV Policy Research Center

  • Lead PI: Emily Arnold, UC San Francisco
  • Center Partners: UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley, San Francisco AIDS Foundation
  • Award Total: $2,000,000
  • Abstract: 

    We propose a continuation of the Northern California HIV Policy Research Center (HPRC), which conducts research and evaluation to inform policies and programs that respond to HIV and its associated epidemics in California. We represent a community-academic partnership that works as a team to identify emerging and timely HIV-related policy issues affecting California, formulate appropriate research questions and implement innovative high impact research relevant to those issues, and disseminate findings back to key health policy stakeholders, and academic, clinical, and community audiences to help end HIV and its associated epidemics in California. Our two academic partners, the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the University of California Berkeley (UCB), will engage with our community-based partner, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF), to carry out rapid response research projects, which typically take place over a six-month time period. The academic UCSF/UCB team includes four investigators with training and expertise in HIV policy analysis, psychology, anthropology, epidemiology, and behavioral economics. The SFAF team, based at an organization serving those at highest risk for HIV, hosts three investigators who are knowledgeable about emerging policy trends that would affect HIV prevention and care at the federal, state, and local levels. We will identify topics for rapid response research through conferring with the organizing committee of the Ending the Epidemics statewide initiative and by convening targeted stakeholder meetings. After we ascertain the most pressing emergent issues, we will design feasible rapid response research projects that can be conducted within 6 months, and then broadly disseminated. Although all HPRC partners collaborate throughout the rapid response project cycle, they play slightly different roles. The academic investigators at UCSF and UC Berkeley focus on research design, data collection and analysis, and dissemination of products that describe the findings. The community partners at SFAF ensure that findings are actively utilized in policymaking efforts and broadly disseminated. Together we have the experience, skills, and strong partnership to produce actionable policy research to help alleviate HIV and its related health conditions in California.

Policy Center Archive 

Information about previous policy center awards and to read the publications resulting from those awards can be accessed in the archive here