HANC Newsletter  |  May 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.

In Remembrance

We are deeply saddened that our dear colleague and friend, Raymond Allmond, passed away unexpectedly in early April. On behalf of the Office of HIV/AIDS Network Coordination (HANC), we want to express our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues. 

Ray was an HIV community advocate for over 20 years. He served on the ACTG Global Community Advisory Board (GCAB) where he co-chaired the CAB HIV Aging working group. He was elected to represent the ACTG community on Community Partners in 2020. Ray’s passion was to make sure that aging with HIV was a top priority in the future of HIV and AIDS research and beyond.

Ray was kind, thoughtful and always willing to learn and help others. To honor Ray’s memory and legacy, Community Partners will strive to follow Ray’s example of showing compassion, and doing our part to make sure that aging with HIV continues to be a part of the HIV/AIDS research conversation. 

Ray’s voice, friendship and commitment will be greatly missed. It was an honor to work alongside such kind and beautiful soul!

Updates to the HANC Portal

Upcoming changes are coming to the HANC Portal (https://portal.hanc.info). The HANC Portal is the password-protected members site used by HANC collaborators, and includes team sites for HANC working groups plus resources not available to the public. The HANC Portal will be migrating from a SharePoint 2010 platform to SharePoint Online due to Microsoft ending support for SharePoint 2010. This will result in several notable changes:
  • There will be a new URL for the HANC Portal. The new URL will be provided when the site launches.
  • User accounts to the HANC Portal will be facilitated through Microsoft Office 365, allowing collaborators to manage their own usernames and passwords. HANC staff will grant the appropriate permissions for each collaborator so you will not lose access to your team sites.  
  • Work groups can connect Microsoft Teams to their team sites for more collaborative opportunities and features. 
  • The new site is mobile-device compatible.
The migration is expected to occur in late May or June 2021. HANC collaborators will be notified of the final launch date via email. Questions regarding this update can be sent to Greg Davis (gpdavis@fredhutch.org). 

Please note that the HANC Portal is separate from the HANC public website (www.hanc.info), which does not require a password for access and offers a full library of resources, guidelines, trainings, and more to a public audience.
Join us in recognizing the following HIV/AIDS Awareness Days this month:

May 18: HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

Led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, HIV Vaccine Awareness Day (HVAD) showcases the progress in the search for a safe and effective preventive HIV vaccine. It also marks an opportunity to educate communities about the importance of vaccine research.

May 19: National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Stigma is one of the biggest barriers to discussing HIV in many Asian and Pacific Islander communities. This awareness day aims to break down that stigma by highlighting how HIV uniquely affects these populations and encouraging HIV testing, prevention and treatment.
The ACTG recently announced the addition of the first polyclonal antibody to the ACTIV-2 outpatient treatment study for COVID-19. SAB-185, a treatment containing many different antibodies, is administered through an IV infusion and ACTIV-2 will evaluate two different doses. For more information, please click here.
The 2021 HPTN Annual Meeting takes place virtually on May 17, 19, and 21 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (EDT) each day. The meeting features a variety of HIV and COVID-19 prevention research presentations and discussions, as well as interactive Q&A sessions.  Featured keynotes include Dr. Anthony Fauci (NIAID) and Dr. Rochelle Walensky (CDC). To learn more, visit www.HPTNannualmeeting.org.
Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy in BIPOC Communities — Toward Trustworthiness, Partnership, and Reciprocity
Dr. Michele Andrasik coauthored a manuscript in the New England Journal of Medicine describing the background of vaccine hesitancy in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, and important considerations to be addressed. This publication provides important steps necessary to take in order to build and maintain trust, partnership, and reciprocity. The publication can be accessed here.
2021 IMPAACT Virtual Annual Meeting
The 2021 IMPAACT Annual Meeting will be held virtually for 1-3 hours each day from 21-25 June. More information, as well as the final agenda, will be posted on the website at www.impaactnetwork.org/news-events/2021-impaact-virtual-annual-meeting.
IMPAACT 2032 Enrollment
IMPAACT 2032 enrolled its first participant on 31 March 2021. The study is enrolling pregnant and non-pregnant women in the U.S. who are receiving remdesivir for treatment of COVID-19. The aim of IMPAACT 2032 is to determine how pregnant and non-pregnant women metabolize the drug, and whether there are any potential side effects. 

Two IMPAACT abstracts have been accepted as e-posters for the 2021 IAS conference, to be held both virtually and in Berlin, Germany, for locally-based experts in accordance with local health regulations. Accepted abstracts include research from IMPAACT P1078 and PROMISE.
MTN is excited to share that the DELIVER study (MTN-042) of the dapivirine vaginal ring and Truvada as PrEP in pregnancy has completed enrollment of the first group of 150 participants who were 8-9 months pregnant when they joined the study. Provided there are no safety concerns, the study will proceed with enrolling the next group of participants who are 7-8 months pregnant.  DELIVER is a Phase IIIb open-label study being conducted in Malawi, South Africa and Uganda and Zimbabwe, and the first of the dapivirine vaginal ring, which was recently recommended for HIV prevention by the World Health Organization, in pregnancy. 
Results of a sub-study of DESIRE called MTN-042B was published on March 31 in PLOS ONE.  A detailed examination of more than 10,000 medical records at maternity clinics and hospitals in Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe, MTN-042B yielded important insights about pregnancy and neonatal outcomes in these communities as well as the frequency with which different complications occur.  The data are invaluable to the DELIVER study of the dapivirine vaginal ring and Truvada as PrEP in pregnant people, and a huge step forward in providing safe and effective biomedical HIV prevention options for use during pregnancy.

The MTN-039 Phase I study of a fast-dissolving rectal insert for HIV prevention has completed follow-up. The first ever study of the tenofovir and elvitegravir insert used rectally, MTN-039 enrolled 23 participants at two sites in the U.S.  It was designed to evaluate the safety and acceptability of the insert as well as the degree that each drug concentrates in rectal tissue. 

Prevent COVID U

The CoVPN announced the launch of Prevent COVID U, a new study evaluating SARS-CoV-2 acquisition and transmission among college students vaccinated with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about this study here.  

Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander COVID-19 Tools

Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum and their partners recently launched two exciting new tools to support AA and NHPI communities and providers. AA-NHPI Health Response is a health education website aimed at providing COVID-19 and vaccination information to communities. Project Firstline is a provider-based education tool that offers COVID-19 and vaccination information.

Driving Racial Equity in COVID-19 Vaccine Administration

The Black Coalition Against COVID-19 produced a guidebook serves as an aid for various stakeholders—government officials, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, retail pharmacies, health institutions—to leverage in developing their vaccine administration plans to enable access within the Black community. Access the guidebook here

COVID Vaccine Matters

Dr. Larry Corey and Dr. Chris Beyrer of the COVID-19 Prevention Network, and colleagues have penned a series of blogs on the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, which can be found here. The latest entry includes commentary on the adverse side effects of the COVID-19 adenovirus-based vaccines.

Community Engagement Materials Menu

updated March 10, 2021
Access all of the CoVPN Community Engagement materials that have been created and share with your friends, colleagues, and communities via a secure Dropbox here (Password: CoVPNTria!$).

HANC COVID-19 Resources

updated March 25, 2021
The HANC COVID-19 Resources page focuses on information about the COVID-19 pandemic and its intersection with the HIV pandemic. Resources are available for community members, people living with HIV, behavioral and mental health researchers, and more. Find it on the HANC website here.

HANC Program Updates

Behavioral and Social Sciences

Greg Davis, HANC Project Manager

The Behavioral Science Consultative Group has started discussing the possibility of a 2021 face-to-face meeting later in the year. The group is considering meeting at Adherence 2021 (Nov 7-9, Orlando, FL) or having a one-day standalone meeting. 

The Youth Prevention Research Working Group (YPRWG) finalized the site survey the group has been developing. The survey was sent to Site Leaders and Site Coordinators on Thursday, April 29. The survey will assess research sites experience in conducting adolescent HIV prevention research. Responses are requested by May 14, 2021. 

The Financial Disclosure Working Group (FDWG) is finalizing the SOP for the 2021 annual solicitation. Once finalized, the SOP will be posted on the HANC website and shared with FDWG members.

The COVID-19 CAB Coalition (CCC) has finalized some of the short videos the group has been creating. Once the videos are uploaded to the HANC website, you can find them here under the "COVID-19 CAB Coalition Partners" heading. 


Community Partners

Russell Campbell, HANC Deputy Director

On behalf of Community Partners, Russell Campbell and Rona Siskind were invited to present during a webinar by the NCI Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP) US-Latin American-Caribbean HIV/HPV-Cancer Prevention Clinical Trials Network (ULACNet)’s Recruitment and Retention Working Group Collaboration on April 22. Russell and Rona, along with Michael Dorosh, Community Advisory Board (CAB) Chair for the NCI-supported Anal Cancer HSIL Outcomes Research (ANCHOR) Study, highlighted the importance of community outreach and engagement as outlined in the Recommendations for Community Engagement in Research.

Community Partners is in the process of updating and revising its guidelines for the group.

Cross-Network Coordination

Milan Vu, HANC Project Manager

The Cross-Network Site Coordinators Working Group (SCWG) discussed tools for tracking site staff training completions and the impact of changes to CITI program access on sites and network operations center staff.

The data management centers (DMCs), in collaboration with DAIDS OPCRO, are developing a training to help sites, laboratories, and other network stakeholders come into compliance with the DAIDS Electronic Information Systems (EIS) Policy. Registration for the EIS Policy Training will be announced in mid- to late-May.

The IT Best Practices Working Group (ITBPWG) meets biennially to revise the IT Best Practices & Standards for DAIDS Sites. In preparation for this year's revision, the working group plans to survey sites to assess current systems, IT practices, and infrastructure.

Laboratory Coordination

Tyler Brown, HANC Project Manager

The Laboratory Technologists Committee (LTC) met twice in April to discuss protocol laboratory updates and new Protocol LT assignments. The LTC SOP Subcommittee held two calls in April to finalize revisions to the ACTG/IMPAACT Protocol Participation and Laboratory Processing Chart Preparation Procedures.

The Cross-Network PBMC Processing SOP Working Group reconvened in April to begin reviewing the Cross-Network PBMC Processing SOP, which is reviewed biennially. The group aims to complete their review and publish a revised version of the SOP by August 2021.

The CPQA Cross-Network Clinical Pharmacology Forum (CNCPL Forum) met in April to discuss current and upcoming CPQA proficiency testing rounds, future network study compounds, and updates on the CPQA AVR/SOP Review Program.

The CPQA Advisory Board (CPQAAB) met in April to discuss updates on the CPQA Proficiency Testing Program, and held a presentation by Dr. Saye Khoo, from the University of Liverpool, on the topic of long-acting antiretroviral drugs and the impact on HIV prevention and treatment in the next 5 years.

The Virology Quality Assurance Advisory Board (VQAAB) met in April to review new lab site proficiency testing data for VQA HIV RNA and Genotypic HIV Drug Resistance panels.

The Lab Focus Group (LFG) met in April to discuss the potential impacts of new DAIDS-issued standard operating procedures and work instructions on network lab centers and lab sites.

Announcement: In April the ACTG and IMPAACT Network Lab Center announced that beginning June 1st, 2021, ACTG and IMPAACT lab sites will be required to verify the scannability of specimen barcode labels prior to shipping to the network repository (BRI) and testing laboratories. Click here for more information.

The Legacy Project

Brian Minalga and Pedro Goicochea, HANC Community Engagement Officers

May 16: Brian Minalga’s 5-year anniversary at HANC

May 18: HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. Visit www.bethegeneration.org to learn more about HIV vaccine and other prevention research.

May 27: After four months in the works, the Latinx Caucus has produced its guidelines and work plan and will hold its next call on May 27th.  

DAIDS and HANC have put together a group of experts to revise and update the HIV Research Counseling and Testing (HRCT) module and make it available on the DAIDS Training Portal. Stay tuned for more updates on HRCT.  


Upcoming Webinars

HIV Vaccines in the Midst of COVID

May 13, 2021 at 7:00am PT / 10:00am ET / 16:00 SAST / 17:00 EAT      
In preparation for HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, AVAC invites you to join this webinar where expert researchers and advocates will discuss major issues and advances in HIV vaccine R&D and the impacts of COVID-19 on vaccine research and delivery. Join the conversation to explore the lessons learned to date and how they serve as a warning, a model, and a body of evidence on the need for accelerated vaccine development and comprehensive strategies for equitable global access. Register here .

ACTG Research Priorities & Community Engagement

May 26, 2021 at 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET      
The Office of HIV/AIDS Network Coordination and Community Partners are hosting a webinar featuring leadership representatives from the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG), Judith Currier, MD, MSc, and Joseph Eron, MD. The ACTG 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.


Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP v4.1) Training

The updated English version of the "Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP v4.1)” training is now available on the DAIDS Learning portal. The training comprises of 10 modules that cover GCLP topics. The training is intended for staff at laboratories that are participating in DAIDS-supported and/or sponsored clinical trials to give participants an introduction to GCLP and their relationship to clinical research.  Click here to visit the course page and get started.

The DLP is available to site staff and affiliated groups working with the Division of AIDS. If you do not already have an account, click on the Log In button at the top right of the screen then the Create New Account button on the right. Fill out the online form and make sure to include your site ID number (a 2-5 digit number created by DAIDS when the grant was awarded). To confirm the ID number, please contact site PI or the site Program Officer.

If you have any questions about the course or materials, please send an email to the DAIDS Support Team Help Desk.

Conferences & Meetings

May 5-7, 2021
May 17, 19, and 21, 2021
May 20-22, 2021
June 14-20, 2021
Annual ACTG Network Meeting (Virtual)
June 21-25, 2021
July 18-21, 2021
11th IAS Conference on HIV Science (Virtual with local partner hub in Berlin, Germany)

Publication Highlights

Balkus et al for the MTN-042B Study Team

Dorman et al for the AIDS Clinical Trials Group and the Tuberculosis Trials Consortium