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

2024 URBAN ARCH Annual Meeting

In this edition of the URBAN ARCH Newsletter, we highlight the 2024 URBAN ARCH Annual Meeting. 

Updates from 2nd Generation URBAN ARCH HIV/Alcohol P01s


International URBAN ARCH Center Updates

Click on the buttons below to see what the International URBAN ARCH Center Cores and Projects have been working on.

Spotlight on… Cristina Espinosa da Silva, PhD, MPH

In this issue, we interview Cristina Espinosa da Silva about her work in the field of HIV and substance use research, and her involvement with URBAN ARCH. 



Article Spotlight

No Association Found Between Smoking and Lack of HIV Viral Suppression Among a Cohort of People with HIV Receiving Antiretroviral Treatment in Uganda

Combustible cigarette smoking and alcohol use are common among people with HIV (PWH). Alcohol use in PWH is associated with decreased adherence to antiretroviral treatment (ART), but less is known about the impact of smoking. URBAN ARCH researchers investigated the prevalence of smoking, and the associations between smoking and HIV outcomes (adjusting for alcohol use) and smoking and CD4 cell count <350 cells/mm3 among 955 participants in the Drinkers Intervention to Prevent Tuberculosis (DIPT) and the Alcohol Drinkers’ Exposure to Preventive Therapy for TB (ADEPTT) studies conducted in Uganda. Participants were PWH who were on ART for ≥6 months and had latent TB. Alcohol consumption was measured via self-report (AUDIT-C, prior 3 months) and the biomarker phosphatidylethanol (PEth).

  • Overall, 63% of the cohort was male; the median age was 40 years; 63% had high or very high-risk alcohol use, and 22% reported smoking in the last 3 months.
  • Among participants with viral suppression and available CD4 count (n=865), 11% had had a CD4 cell count <350 cells/mm3.
  • Adjusted and unadjusted analyses found no association between smoking and lack of viral suppression, nor between smoking and CD4 count among participants with viral suppression.

Comments: This cohort of PWH with TB in Uganda had a high prevalence of combustible cigarette smoking and alcohol use. Despite the fact that no associations were found between smoking and HIV viral suppression or CD4 count in this cohort, combustible cigarette smoking leads to other negative health outcomes and should be addressed, especially among people with significant comorbidities.

Reference: Tumwegamire A, Fatch R, Emenyonu NI, et al. Association between smoking and lack of HIV virological suppression in a cross-sectional study of persons with HIV on antiretroviral therapy in Uganda. PLoS One. 2024;19(3):e0300508.

Latest News

Congratulations to Dr. Judy Hahn on her recently awarded R34 grant, The Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) Results Communication (PERC) Study! This study will develop strategies and pilot adding testing for and providing results for a blood biomarker of prior month alcohol consumption, phosphatidylethanol (PEth), to a standard brief intervention for unhealthy alcohol use being rolled out by the Uganda Ministry of Health in HIV care. The research will determine the acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility of adding PEth results to alcohol brief interventions, and decide if a large scale trial is warranted.

Dr. Jeffrey Samet, MD, MA, MPH, is a 2024 recipient of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) Award for Excellence. Dr. Samet is the John Noble, M.D. Professor in General Internal Medicine and Professor of Public Health at Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine and School of Public Health. Dr. Samet received the inaugural James L. Sorensen Distinguished Treatment & Service Mentor Award at the 2024 CPDD Annual Meeting. Congratulations, Jeffrey! 

URBAN ARCH trainee, Loice Mbogo, graduated from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University with her MPH. Loice will join Dr. Vincent Marconi’s team at Emory to continue her work in the field of HIV research. Congratulations, Loice!



New URBAN ARCH Publications

Events and Conferences

    Upcoming abstract submission deadlines: CROI (October 1, 2024)

    Click here for more events and conferences.

    Happy Summer from URBAN ARCH!