ACRIA to Address HIV/Aging Issues, More, at XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington DC

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Interviews with experts available; organization to hold satellite on challenges of HIV and aging in epidemic's fourth decade

The satellite will address the various scientific, treatment, and policy issues facing the growing international population of older adults with HIV.

The AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA) - a leading HIV/AIDS research, prevention, and advocacy organization founded by a group of physicians, activists, and people living with HIV - will hold a number of events, and will have its staffers in attendance and available for interview, at the XIX International AIDS Conference, to be held from July 21-27 in Washington, DC.

The primary ACRIA-sponsored event will be a satellite conference, HIV and Aging: The Challenge of the Epidemic’s Fourth Decade, to be held the evening of Wednesday, July 25, which will address the various scientific, prevention/care/treatment, and policy issues facing the growing international population of older adults with HIV. The conference, to be held from 6:30 to 8:30 PM in Session Room 7, will feature speakers including Kevin Fenton, MD, PhD, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for HIV/AIDS, and Lisa Power, Policy Director for the U.K’s Terrence Higgins Trust. A global community panel of older adults with HIV will also respond. The event is cosponsored by Terrence Higgins Trust, HelpAge International, Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) and Women Fighting AIDS in Kenya (WOFAK). Additional information on the satellite conference is available here (copy and paste)

http://www.acria.org/files/ACRIA IAC 2012 SatelliteSave the Date.pdf

Other ACRIA events include:

  •     an additional, affiliated satellite presentation on aging;
  •     two affiliated booths on the conference floor about HIV and aging issues, including a portrait gallery of older adults with HIV; and
  •     several poster presentations on concerns and challenges for older adults with HIV, including ageism-related stigma and sexual behavior, and those who serve them.

More information on the complete list of events is available in the attached PDF.

WHO: The following ACRIA employees will be available for interview regarding ACRIA’s overall mission, the status of the HIV epidemic, and the satellite conference, HIV and Aging: The Challenge of the Epidemic’s Fourth Decade:

Daniel Tietz, RN, JD. Executive Director. Mr. Tietz provides organization-wide direction and strategic vision to advance ACRIA’s mission. He is a Registered Nurse and an attorney who has worked for nearly three decades in government and not-for-profit leadership and management, including public policy development and advocacy, related to health, human services and housing. He previously served as Deputy Executive Director for Day Treatment and Residential Services at Housing Works, Deputy Executive Director for Operations at the Coalition for the Homeless, and as senior staff for the Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, among other positions. Mr. Tietz can speak to:

●    HIV and its impact on older adults in the U.S. and around the world
●    The urgent need for more funding of HIV prevention and treatment efforts in the U.S., particularly targeting men who have sex with men (MSM) of color
●    The shifting HIV epidemic in the U.S., including the rising number of older adults
●    The U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy and its impact on people with and at risk for HIV
●    The current state of HIV and related illnesses in the U.S.
●    The Affordable Care Act and people with HIV, including importance of Medicaid expansion
●    How to effectively engage local, state and federal elected and appointed officials about HIV treatment and prevention
●    The future of the Ryan White Care Act and the interplay with the ACA and Medicaid
●    The need for HIV education for health and other human services professionals
●    The economy and its effect on HIV services
●    The long-term role of AIDS services organizations and community-based organizations

Stephen Karpiak, PhD. Associate Director for Research. Dr. Karpiak oversees all of ACRIA’s behavioral research, including studies of depression, sexuality, multi-morbidity management and other issues among HIV-positive older adults. He also currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at the New York University College of Nursing. Prior to joining ACRIA, Dr. Karpiak served for over 25 years on the faculty at Columbia University’s medical school as a research scientist in neurobiology and immunology. Dr. Karpiak has also served as Director at AIDS Project Arizona, Executive Director of A Place Called Home in Phoenix, which provides housing for homeless people with HIV/AIDS, and Executive Director of Pride Senior Network in New York City. Dr. Karpiak can speak to:

●    HIV and its impact on older adults in the U.S. and around the world
●    Original research examining the lives of HIV-positive older adults
●    Managing multi-morbidity and HIV, particularly among older adults
●    Local, state and national HIV data collection and analysis

Mark Brennan-Ing, PhD. Senior Research Scientist. Dr. Brennan-Ing conducts behavioral research on psychosocial issues affecting persons living with HIV and evaluation research. With over 20 years of gerontological research experience, Dr. Brennan brings considerable expertise in applied research on coping/adjustment to chronic illness in middle and late adulthood. Dr. Brennan has been recognized for his research in the field of aging by the Hunter-Brookdale Center on Aging, Pride Senior Network, and the New York State Office for the Aging. He also currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at the New York University College of Nursing. Dr. Brennan can speak to:

●    HIV and its impact on older adults in the U.S. and around the world
●    Original research examining the lives of HIV-positive older adults
●    Managing multi-morbidity and HIV, particularly among older adults
●    HIV training, capacity building and technical assistance program evaluation

Luis Scaccabarrozzi, MPH. Director, HIV Health Literacy Program. Mr. Scaccabarrozzi oversees ACRIA’s HIV Health Literacy program, including the training, technical assistance/capacity building services, curriculum and materials development, prevention, social messaging and consulting work. Before joining ACRIA, he worked for a variety of community-based organizations and government agencies in the U.S. and internationally managing HIV treatment and prevention, technical assistance and capacity building, and program evaluation. He has worked for Test Positive Aware Network, Howard Brown Health Center, the Chicago Department of Public Health, and PROCEED’s National Center for Support and Technical Assistance. Mr. Scaccabarrozzi can speak to:

●    Tailoring HIV prevention interventions, particularly in targeting older adults and in communities of color
●    HIV prevention and care in community settings, and in communities of color
●    HIV and primary care integration models
●    HIV mentorship programs for primary care providers
●    Pre- and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis
●    Accessible, linguistically and culturally competent HIV care
●    Introducing and sustaining culturally competent HIV care in primary care settings
●    HIV health literacy for medical and non-medical service providers, including the clinical learning needs of primary care providers new to HIV services
●    Culturally appropriate delivery of substance use services among people with HIV
●    Social messaging campaigns, including those targeting older adults
●    HIV training, capacity building and technical assistance program evaluation

Lisa Frederick, Associate Director, HIV Health Literacy Program. Ms. Frederick coordinates and manages training and capacity building to strengthen community-based providers, public agencies and other organizations serving people with and at risk for HIV in communities across the U.S. She has developed and delivered hundreds of trainings and technical assistance/capacity building services for a host of organizations in the U.S. and beyond. She came to ACRIA in 2002 from the Community Healthcare Network, where she served as a Case Manager and a Treatment Adherence Specialist. Ms. Frederick also sits on advisory boards for GlaxoSmithKline and Boehringer Ingelheim. Ms. Frederick can speak to:

●    The shifting epidemic among people with and at risk of HIV in the Deep South
●    HIV prevention and care within community health centers, and in communities of color
●    HIV and primary care integration models
●    HIV mentorship programs for primary care providers
●    Accessible, linguistically and culturally competent HIV care
●    Introducing and sustaining culturally competent HIV care in primary care settings
●    HIV health literacy for medical and non-medical service providers
●    Culturally appropriate delivery of substance use services among people with HIV

About ACRIA

ACRIA was founded as the Community Research Initiative on AIDS (CRIA) in December 1991 by a group of physicians, activists, and people living with HIV who were frustrated by the slow pace of government and academic AIDS research. Since that time, we have contributed to the development of more than a dozen medications that have received FDA approval, helping countless thousands of HIV-positive people live longer, healthier lives.

ACRIA's accomplishments over the past two decades include: enrolling a diverse range of participants, including women and people of color, in clinical trials for HIV drugs; releasing groundbreaking research on HIV/AIDS in older adults; launching an HIV Health Literacy Program that gives people living with HIV the knowledge they need to take an active role in their own healthcare; publishing a wide range of health literacy booklets on topics including women's treatment issues, older adults and HIV, and drug side effects; and, with GMHC, jointly publishing the influential magazine ACHIEVE, an HIV prevention, treatment and politics quarterly.

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Cathy Renna
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