HANC Newsletter  |  June 2021

Land, Labor, and Justice Acknowledgements

We acknowledge the land we occupy today as the traditional home of the Duwamish, Tulalip, Muckleshoot, and Suquamish tribal nations, the original caretakers of this land who are still here. Without them we would not have access to this working, teaching, and learning environment. We commit to conducting ourselves with dignity and treating this land and all the life it sustains with respect. We ask you to join us in this commitment, wherever you may reside. We also acknowledge exploited labor and ongoing struggle​s for justice on this land. We reflect on the ancestors of our various peoples, nations, tribes, and families; ancestors whose struggles, pain, power, privilege, and strivings we hold in our very bodies.

HANC offices are located at Fred Hutch campus in Seattle, WA.

40 Years of HIV and AIDS

On June 5, 1981, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the first report of a condition that would soon become known as AIDS. Forty years later, we reflect on the struggles and innovations of the last four decades, and the continuing work ahead to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Events & Reflections

Changes to CITI Program Access through the DAIDS Learning Portal

Recent changes related to CITI Program access via the DAIDS-supported HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Networks took effect on June 1, 2021. These changes are summarized below:
  • HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Network (ACTG, HVTN, HPTN, IMPAACT, and MTN), DAIDS, and HANC subscriptions to the CITI Program expired on May 31, 2021. After May 31, 2021, learners will no longer have access to CITI Program courses through their network, DAIDS, or HANC affiliation.
  • This change will not affect access to CITI Program courses through affiliations with other organizations outside of the networks, DAIDS, and HANC, i.e. some universities.
  • Learners who no longer have access to the CITI Program after June 1, 2021 have several options to complete GCP and HSP training through DAIDS, including the DAIDS GCP eLearning (English); ACRP HSP eLearning (English); and NIAID GCP course (English, Spanish, and Portuguese). All listed courses will be available on the DAIDS Learning Portal.
  • Learners will need to provide their site coordinator with a copy of their course completion certification(s). A tool to track course completions for all site staff is under consideration for development though in the DAIDS Learning Portal.
The full announcement is posted on the HANC website. Please direct any questions to DAIDSSupportTeam@niaid.nih.gov .
Join us in recognizing the following HIV/AIDS Awareness Days this month:

June 5: HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day

This awareness day honors all long-term survivors of HIV. HLTSAD highlights the stories and needs of long-term survivors and advocates for community resources on their behalf.

June 27: National HIV Testing Day

According to the CDC, one in seven people living with HIV don’t know they have it. This awareness day is a call to people of all ages to learn the facts about HIV and get tested for the virus.
The ACTG is excited to share the publication in the New England Journal of Medicine of “Four-month Rifapentine Regimens with or without Moxifloxacin for Tuberculosis.” This paradigm-shifting study demonstrates the feasibility of decreasing the length of TB treatment by one-third – a profound advancement in the management of a disease that continues to proliferate globally. Study 31/A5349 which was also presented at the Union World Conference on Lung Health in October 2020, showed that the four-month regimen of rifapentine, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and moxifloxacin (RPT-MOX) was non-inferior to the currently recommended six-month regimen of rifampicin, isoniazid, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide for the treatment of drug-susceptible pulmonary TB. RPT-MOX was also safe and well-tolerated by study participants. A second four-month regimen of rifapentine, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol did not meet the non-inferiority margin. 

Study 31/A5349, which was led by the CDC Tuberculosis Trials Consortium (TBTC) in collaboration with the ACTG, was a phase 3, open-label, randomized controlled clinical trial. It took place in 13 countries and included more than 2,500 participants ages 12 and older, including 193 people living with HIV. ACTG sites enrolled two-thirds of participants (N=1617) and TBTC sites enrolled one-third.

Study implications: Shorter duration of TB treatment means that it will be easier for individuals to complete their treatment without missing doses and ultimately may be more cost-effective. 
Ward Cates Spirit Award Winner Announced
Dr. Beatriz Grinsztejn received the 2021 Ward Cates Spirit Award during the recent virtual HPTN Annual Meeting. As the STD/AIDS Clinical Research Laboratory director and principal investigator of the FIOCRUZ HIV Prevention and Therapeutic Clinical Trials Unit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she was recognized for her outstanding commitment, leadership, and scientific excellence in promoting health among groups vulnerable to HIV infection. Dr. Grinsztejn currently serves many roles in the Network, including HPTN 083  protocol co-chair, HPTN Scientific Committee member, HPTN CTU and CRS principal investigator, and HPTN Scholars mentor. The award honors the legacy of Dr. Willard (Ward) Cates Jr., a dedicated steward of the HPTN scientific and research programs and a respected scientist who contributed to groundbreaking contraceptive and HIV prevention research.
Dr. Larry Corey Receives Public Service Award from American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy
Dr. Larry Corey is one of two winners of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy‘s Sonia Skarlatos Public Service Award. The award, named after a gene therapy advocate, recognizes a person or group that has consistently fostered and enhanced the field of gene and cell therapy through governmental agencies, public policy groups, public education or nongovernmental charitable organizations. 
2021 IMPAACT Virtual Annual Meeting
The 2021 IMPAACT Annual Meeting will be held virtually for 2-3 hours each day from 22-24 June (please note the original dates were 21-25 June).

The Meeting will feature presentations from DAIDS Director Carl Dieffenbach, IMPAACT Network Chair Sharon Nachman, IMPAACT Vice Chairs Philippa Musoke and Patricia Flynn, and more.

More information, as well as the final agenda, will be posted on the Annual Meeting website, IMPAACTAnnualMeeting.org, which will be live soon. 
MTN is excited to share the latest installment in our “A Look Back…” series. The story, Finding in the Silver Lining, focuses on MTN’s journey from the disappointing VOICE results in 2013 to a research agenda that fully embraces the importance of social and behavioral science.   “A Look Back…” is an occasional series to honor the communities, researchers, staff and study participants who have made countless and meaningful contributions to the work of the MTN since 2006.
Behavioral and Social Sciences

Greg Davis, HANC Project Manager
The HANC-facilitated Behavioral Science Consultative Group (BSCG) will host a discussion on June 9 at 10am PT on using social media for disseminating important study information and results. BSCG member, Dr. Jessica Haberer, will examine the idea of creating a mechanism to easily produce layperson animations and/or brief statements to share via social media. Ideally, she would like to create an algorithm or app that would automatically translate a study abstract into the final product with minimal additional input from the investigator. Dr. Haberer is exploring this idea with a design firm in Nairobi, but it is in the early stages. She wants to discuss the idea further with other researchers, communications teams, and community members. If you're interested in the participating in the conversation, please contact Greg Davis ( gpdavis@fredhutch.org) for more information.

The HANC-facilitated Youth Prevention Research Working Group invites you to a webinar on June 11 at 10am PT/1pm ET with Dr. Daniel Teixeira da Silva, MD discussing COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among sexual and gender minority men and transgender women. Sexual and gender minority populations are vulnerable to poor COVID-19 outcomes and more likely to experience stigma and medical mistrust that may affect vaccine acceptance. For more information and to register for the webinar, click here.
Community Partners

Russell Campbell, HANC Deputy Director
Community Partners is holding calls with the ATN-YEAH and Soweto Youth CAB members to discuss collaboration ideas around addressing the global needs of youth in HIV/AIDS and TB research.

Community Partners is in the process of developing a cross-network “How to Read A Protocol” document to assist CAB and community members in the protocol review process.
Cross-Network Coordination

Milan Vu, HANC Project Manager
The Cross-Network Communications Working Group (CWG) discussed the Representative Studies Rubric, a tool to gather data on the inclusion of underrepresented populations in network clinical trials. The group also discussed network plans for the International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Science coming up July 18-21, 2021.

The Cross-Network Evaluation Working Group (EWG) discussed harmonization of network approaches to correcting site performance deficiencies and corrective and preventive action (CAPA) documentation.

Registration for the DAIDS Electronic Information Systems Policy Trainings is officially open. More details about the training sessions and how to register can be found under the Webinars section.

6/4: Milan will present her master's thesis, "Part of the Process: Transitioning HIV Program Management from U.S.-based to Local Partners in Zimbabwe". She will officially complete her Master of Public Health from the University of Washington on June 13th.
Laboratory Coordination

Tyler Brown, HANC Project Manager
The Cross-Network PBMC Processing SOP Working Group met in May to continue reviewing the Cross-Network PBMC Processing SOP. An updated version of the SOP is schedule to be released on the HANC Website in August.

The Lab Focus Group (LFG) met in May to discuss lab site changes under the new DAIDS Electronic Information Systems (EIS) Policy, the availability of GCLP v4.1 Training in non-English languages, and the pSMILE Web-IR System launch scheduled for June.

The Laboratory Technologists Committee (LTC) met twice in May to discuss LTC sessions at the upcoming ACTG and IMPAACT Annual Meetings, and laboratory updates on protocol A5401. 

Attention LDMS Labs: The LDMS group at Frontier Science released a new FAQ document that answers common questions about generating and scanning LDMS labels. The document can be accessed on the LDMS Training Website or by clicking here.
The Legacy Project

Brian Minalga and Pedro Goicochea, HANC Community Engagement Officers
6/1: The latest issue of BTG News has been published on the Be the Generation website, featuring community-centered updates from the HPTN, HVTN, and MTN. The issue is available in English and Español
6/1: Legacy Project Working Group members Dr. Michele Andrasik, Louis Shackelford and Russell Campbell served as co-authors on the article, Perceptions of Sexual Risk, PrEP Services, and Peer Navigation Support Among HIV-Negative Latinx and Black Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) Residing in Western Washington. This work was led by Jahn Jaramillo and was just published in Sexuality Research and Social Policy.

6/2: Jessy Dame, member of the Legacy Project and the American Indian/Alaska Native working groups has successfully completed his Master’s in Nursing from the University of British Columbia with the project “Protective Factors among Queers and 2S (two-spirit) men who have attempted suicide” and will graduate on June 2nd. Congratulations Jessy!  
6/5: Legacy acknowledges HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day and the 40th anniversary of the first MMWR report on what would soon become known as AIDS. Read the latest Be the Generation newsletter for Brian Minalga’s reflections on the day.
6/27: Legacy staff encourages HIV testing as part of National HIV Testing Day.

NIAID Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research - 2021 Update

Building upon the growing knowledge base of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, this update to the NIAID Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research outlines research priorities critical to better understanding, treating and preventing SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 and its post-acute sequelae. The plan is structured on four updated strategic research priorities:
  • Advance basic research on SARS-CoV-2 biology, pathogenesis, and transmission
  • Identify and test promising COVID-19 therapeutics
  • Develop and test next-generation COVID-19 and pan-coronavirus vaccine candidates
  • Characterize, prevent, and treat post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC)

NIH clinical trial evaluating mixed COVID-19 vaccine schedules begins

The National Institutes of Health has started a Phase 1/2 clinical trial in which adult volunteers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will receive booster doses of different COVID-19 vaccines to determine the safety and immunogenicity of mixed boosted regimens. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH, is leading and funding the study through the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium, a clinical trials network that encompasses the Institute’s long-standing Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs). Read the full news release here.

COVID-19 CAB Coalition Update

The COVID-19 CAB Coalition continues to meet monthly. Several short videos created by Community Advisory Board members detailing community involvement and input in COVID-19 studies have been finalized and posted on the HANC website. The COVID-19 CAB Coalition is discussing how to continue educating the community about COVID-19 while vaccination rates are increasing.

Upcoming Webinars

DAIDS Electronic Information Systems (EIS) Policy Training Sessions

June 11 and 29, 2021 at 8:00am PT / 11:00am ET / 17:00 SAST / 18:00 EAT      
The Division of AIDS (DAIDS) invites you to join the Electronic Information Systems (EIS) Policy Training sessions. DAIDS and the network Statistical Data Management Centers will provide an overview of the EIS Policy purpose and scope, walk through the EIS Evaluation Checklist, and discuss how to complete other requirements of the EIS Policy. Please register and join us at one of the training sessions to learn more. Participants only need to attend one session to get the full training content, but are welcome to attend multiple sessions if desired. Please note that these training sessions are optional to attend and are intended to help collaborators implement the requirements of the DAIDS EIS policy. Register here.

COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance Among Sexual and Gender Minority Men and Transgender Women

June 11, 2021 at 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET      
The HANC-facilitated Youth Prevention Research Working Group invites you to a webinar with Dr. Daniel Teixeira da Silva, MD discussing COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among sexual and gender minority men and transgender women. Sexual and gender minority populations are vulnerable to poor COVID-19 outcomes and more likely to experience stigma and medical mistrust that may affect vaccine acceptance. Dr. Teixeira da Silva and the study team conducted an online cross-sectional study focused on HIV biomedical prevention technology willingness in the United States, which included a series of COVID-19 vaccine and medical trust questions in the study screener. Dr. Teixeira da Silva will provide details about the study, the sample population demographics, highlight methods and measures that were used, and explain the results of the study. Register here.

HVTN Research Priorities & Community Engagement

June 21, 2021 at 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET      
The HVTN Network Leadership will present their research priorities and goals for the next seven years and highlight how community will be engaged as part of their priorities. This is an opportunity for community to engage and ask questions. Register here.

Conferences & Meetings

June 14-20, 2021
June 22-24, 2021
July 18-21, 2021
11th IAS Conference on HIV Science (Virtual with local partner hub in Berlin, Germany)
October 20-22, 2021
October 28-31, 2021
US Conference on HIV/AIDS (Washington, DC USA)
November 7-9, 2021
Adherence 2021 (Orlando, FL USA)

Publication Highlights