Volume 6, Issue 1

January 2019 – March 2019

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

Hitting the Half-Way Mark with ADEPTT, St PETER, and 4-F

In this edition of the newsletter, as a preview for the 2019 URBAN ARCH Annual Meeting, we will highlight study updates from the three cohorts that make up URBAN ARCH.

In the News

  • The URBAN ARCH Annual Meeting will take place April 9-10, 2019, at the Boston University Medical Campus. More information on the meeting can be found here.
  • Symposium accepted at Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) 2019: “HIV, Alcohol and Comorbidity: From the Microbiome and Immunity to Clinical Outcomes.” Dr. Richard Saitz is organizing the symposium.
  • Congratulations to Karen Jacobson for receiving a BU CTSI Pilot Award for the project: “A Mixed Methods Study Comparing Longitudinal, Repeated Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) to Self-reported Alcohol Consumption to Assess Changes in Alcohol Use and Readiness for Intervention during Tuberculosis Treatment”.
  • Abstract accepted for a poster and oral presentation at the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) 2019: Polysubstance use patterns and HIV disease severity among those with substance use disorder: Latent class analysis (Bertholet et al.).
  • Abstract accepted for a poster and oral presentation at the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) 2019: Substance use and quality of life in an urban cohort of people living with HIV and substance dependence (Rawlins-Pilgrim et al.).

Spotlight on…Natalia Gnatienko

In this issue, we interview Natalia Gnatienko, MPH, a Senior Research Manager at Boston Medical Center.


On The Ground

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

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

Serodiscordant Partnerships Among People Living With HIV Who Inject Drugs in St. Petersburg, Russia Offer Opportunities for HIV Prevention

Russia has a high rate of HIV infection and the incidence is increasing, driven in part by injection drug use. Russia ARCH researchers conducted a secondary analysis of an observational cohort study of people living with HIV (PLWH) who have ever injected drugs in St. Petersburg, Russia, examining the frequency with which they are partnered (i.e., married, in a domestic partnership/living with partner, or in a “long-term relationship”), whether that partner had HIV, and whether there were differences by gender. They also assessed awareness of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and perceived partner interest in PrEP among a subsample of study participants.

  • At baseline, 50% (147/296) of the cohort reported being in a partnership, and of those, 35% were serodiscordant.
  • After adjustment, women had significantly higher odds of being partnered compared with men (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 3.12), but there were no gender differences in the odds of being in a serodiscordant partnership.
  • Among a sub-sample of participants queried (n=56), 25% were aware of PrEP for prevention of sexual HIV transmission and 14% for prevention of injection-related transmission.

Comments: Substantial opportunities for HIV prevention exist among PLWH who have ever injected drugs in Russia and their HIV-negative partners. Given the high proportion of HIV-negative partners among this antiretroviral treatment-naïve sample, efforts to address the associated inherent risks, such as couples-based interventions, are needed to increase condom use, PrEP awareness, or uptake of other HIV-prevention modalities (e.g., ART for the HIV-positive partner).

Reference: Gnatienko N, Wagman JA, Cheng DM, et al. Serodiscordant partnerships and opportunities for pre-exposure prophylaxis among partners of women and men living with HIV in St. Petersburg, Russia. PLoS One. 2018;13(11):e0207402.

Selected NIH Notices and Funding Opportunities

  • Special Interest on Methodological Advances to Improve Alcohol Measurement and its Consequences for People Living with HIV who have Comorbidities, Coinfections, and Complications (NOT-AA-19-006)
    National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 

  • Special Interest on Development and Dissemination of Behavioral Treatments for Alcohol Use Disorder (NOT-AA-19-010)
    National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 

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.