URBAN ARCH Newsletter

Volume 4, Issue 3

July 2017 – September 2017

Check out the current issue of URBAN ARCH News, the quarterly newsletter bringing you news based on the latest URBAN ARCH and related research.

Boston ARCH – The 4F Study

This issue of the URBAN ARCH quarterly newsletter will focus on the new Boston ARCH study – The 4F Study. Click here to learn more. 

In the News

  • New Grant: Congratulations to Dr. Tibor Palfai on receiving funding for a UH2 to develop and evaluate a video telehealth approach to address alcohol use and pain for patients in an HIV-care setting.
  • New Grant: Congratulations to Drs. Jeffrey Samet and Judy Tsui on receiving funding for UH2 for a pilot to test novel pharmacotherapies (opioid receptor antagonists) to improve chronic pain among HIV-infected heavy drinkers.
  • New Grant: Congratulations to Drs. Matthew Freiberg and Jeffrey Samet on receiving funding for an R01 examining the relationship between TMAO production and cardiovascular disease, using participants of the St PETER HIV trial.
  • New Grant: Congratulations to Dr. Judy Hahn for receiving funding for a U01 to examine an intervention to reduce alcohol use and increase adherence to TB preventative therapy among HIV/TB co-infected drinkers.
  • New Grant: Congratulations to Dr. Matthew Freiberg on receiving funding for a U01 grant examining effects of alcohol consumption on bacteria present in the gut, using participants of the St PETER HIV trial.
  • New RFA: The CFAR Developmental Grants Program is now accepting applications for Fall 2017. Applications are due by November 1st. 

Spotlight On…Traci Green 

In this issue, we interview Traci Green, PhD, MSc, Co-Investigator of the Boston ARCH 4F study and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Public Health. 


On The Ground

Click on the buttons to see what the URBAN ARCH Cohorts and Cores have been working on.

Save the Date for the 2018 URBAN ARCH Annual Meeting

The seventh URBAN ARCH Annual Meeting will be held on March 27-28, 2018. Click here for more information about this meeting. We hope to see you there!

New URBAN ARCH Publications 

Article Spotlight
This section highlights and provides brief summaries of URBAN ARCH research and their clinical significance.

Lifetime and recent alcohol use and bone mineral density in adults with HIV infection and substance dependence

Low bone mineral density (BMD), a risk factor for fracture, is common in people living with HIV (PLWH) – as is osteoporosis. Alcohol use has been identified as a modifiable risk factor for both HIV disease progression and low BMD. Alicia Ventura, former project manager of the Boston ARCH team, recently led a study examining lifetime and past 30-day alcohol use among adult PLWH with current substance dependence or ever injection drug use.

  • There were no significant associations between lifetime alcohol use (total kgs) and mean bone mineral density (g/cm2) measured at the femoral neck, total hip, and lumbar spine, or low BMD diagnosis (i.e., osteopenia or osteoporosis defined by T-score).
  • There was no significant correlation between past 30-day alcohol use and mean BMD (g/cm2) at any of the 3 bone sites measured.
  • Past 30-day alcohol use was associated with low BMD diagnosis. Compared with abstainers, the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for high-risk alcohol use was 1.94 (95% CI: 0.91–4.12), the aOR for low risk alcohol use was 4.32 (95% CI: 1.30–14.33).
  • Drinking intensity (kg/year) between time of first positive HIV test and ART initiation was associated with lower mean BMD (g/cm2) at both the femoral neck and total hip, as well as increased odds of low BMD (aOR = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.03–1.36).

Overall there was no association detected between lifetime alcohol use and BMD or osteopenia/osteoporosis. However, recent drinking was associated with low BMD diagnosis, as was drinking intensity between first positive HIV test and ART initiation.

Boston ARCH PI Richard Saitz says of the results: “Although many competing risks might obscure alcohol’s effects on bone health, it does appear that drinking can play a role in risks for a common comorbidity that has real clinical consequences.” Further research within URBAN ARCH aims to explore these associations.

Reference: Ventura AS, Winter MR, Heeren TC, et al. Lifetime and recent alcohol use and bone mineral density in adults with HIV infection and substance dependence. Medicine. 2017;96(17):e6759. PMCID: PMC5413268.

Article Spotlight summary by URBAN ARCH editor Katherine Calver, PhD

Selected NIH Notices and Funding Opportunities

  • CFAR Fall 2017 Developmental Grant Program (Full RFA)
    Center for AIDS Research
    Application Due Date: November 1, 2017
  • Tobacco Use and HIV in Low and Middle Income Countries (R01) (PAR-17-087)
    National Cancer Institute/National Institute on Drug Abuse
    Application Due Date: November 1, 2017 and April 4, 2018 (non-AIDS); January 7, 2018 (AIDS)
  • Investigational New Drug IND-enabling Development of Medications to Treat Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcohol-related Disorders (UT2) (PAR-15-153)
    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
    Application Due Date: December 11, 2017

Click here for more funding announcements related to HIV and alcohol research.

Events and Conferences

Please email Carly Bridden if you will be attending any these meetings, so we can connect you with our investigators.

Click here for more events and conferences.