HANC Newsletter  |  November 2022
HANC offices are located at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center campus in Seattle, WA.

We acknowledge the Coast Salish peoples of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Duwamish, Puyallup, Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations.
All of us at HANC share in the loss of an icon in our field: Dr. Dawn K. Smith from the CDC's Division of HIV Prevention. Dr. Smith has played a significant role in all of our lives—those who knew her personally and those who knew her only through her public health legacy. The HANC team extends condolences to Dr. Smith's family, which includes the entire HIV family. We honor the life of Dr. Smith through our continued commitment to the community in our efforts to end the HIV epidemic.

HANC Director Announcement

We are pleased to announce the promotion of Russell Campbell to the Office of HIV/AIDS Network Coordination (HANC) Director position, effective October 10, 2022.

Russell joined HANC (located at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center) in 2008.  For the past seven years, Russell has served in a leadership role as HANC Deputy Director providing oversight and strategic direction for all cross-network coordination activities.  Most recently, Russell stepped in as HANC Acting Director while we conducted our search to fill this role.  Russell’s demonstrated ability for program management, commitment to building collaborative relationships, and longevity within HANC are all attributes that make Russell uniquely qualified. Please join us in congratulating Russell in his new role as HANC Director.

H=H Episode 9: Hispanic Heritage Month | National Latinx HIV Awareness Day

This episode of H=H is dedicated to the HIspanic and Latinx Heritage month, which is celebrated annually for recognizing the contributions of these communities to this land for more than five centuries. We also observe National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day, October 15, to raise awareness about the impact the HIV epidemic has in these communities.

Cross-Network Group Recommends Including People Living with HIV in Tuberculosis Vaccine Trials

The DAIDS Cross-Network (ACTG/HVTN/IMPAACT) TB Vaccine Working Group issued recommendations published in The Lancet HIV calling for the inclusion of people living with HIV in clinical trials for new tuberculosis vaccines. Meeting at a series of symposia in January and February 2021, panel members developed consensus statements that serve as strategic recommendations designed to address current TB vaccine gaps and prioritize clinical trials for people with HIV. A full press release can be viewed here.
The ACTG made four presentations at IDWeek, which took place in Washington D.C. in October. A5379 demonstrated that a three-dose regimen of the HEPLISAV-B vaccine fully protected people living with HIV who had not previously been immunized from contracting hepatitis B, likely changing clinical practice for people living with HIV. We also shared data from ACTIV-2 that expanded our understanding about several key aspects of COVID-19, including the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels in different compartments, predictors of nasopharyngeal viral clearance, and SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels as predictors for clinical outcomes.

Meeting People Where They Are for HPTN 094

Jessica Yeager starts each morning by reading her Bible, recovery books, and meditating. Then, she posts all over social media about the HPTN 094 mobile health unit and its location for the day. According to her peers, Yeager is an influential recovery community leader who thrives on innovative change to create purpose, stomp out stigma, and help others heal while delivering the message of hope. Yeager is a peer support services supervisor at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. She is also a national and Texas-state-certified peer recovery support specialist. Her job is demanding, requiring her to spend her workdays helping others in the recovery health process to reduce their likelihood of relapsing.

Yeager has a unique perspective regarding substance misuse as she is a person in long-term recovery. "I'm very vocal about my recovery journey," said Yeager. "I am proud to recover out loud, and what that means to me is that I've not found it necessary to change how I feel with any mind-altering substances since January 29, 2016."
Dr. Larry Corey receiving Fleming Award at IDSA. Photo credit: Kelli Price Photography
Dr. Larry Corey receives Alexander Fleming Award
At a recent Infectious Diseases Society of America conference held in Washington, DC, Dr. Anthony Fauci presented a lifetime achievement award (the Dr. Alexander Fleming Award) to Dr. Larry Corey, an internationally renowned virologist, former president and director of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, and Principal Investigator of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. “I am so pleased that Larry will receive this award, and I am doubly pleased that I will have the opportunity to present this award to my dear friend and colleague with whom I have collaborated and shared close friendship over the past 40 years,” and “I can think of no one more deserving. His impact on the field of infectious diseases, from herpes viruses to HIV to COVID-19, has been most extraordinary. He is truly a giant in the field, deserving of all the recognition that he has received, and will receive,” Fauci says.  Read more about the award here.

The HVTN Research and Mentorship Program (RAMP) provides structured mentorship and project funding for African American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American/American Indian, Native Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Islander medical students. Applications for the 2023-2024 cohort are open, and are due January 2, 2023, at 5pm PST. For more information about the program or requirements visit the RAMP information page here.
Dr. Wallace chats with Harold Phillips, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy for the Intersections series.
Intersections is a new video series which launched early October 2022, and is comprised of one-on-one interviews where we explore the intersections of science and daily life. Featuring significant figures in science, business, politics, sports, the arts, activism, news media, and technology. Hosted by Dr. Stephaun Wallace, External Relations Director of both the CoVPN and HVTN. Learn more about this new series here.
On 27 October, over a hundred participants attended the IMPAACT Social Behavioral Scientific Core SpotLight Series presentation focused on clinical adherence, including concepts, challenges, and support. Additional information, including a recording of the webinar, can be viewed here.
The 2023 IMPAACT Annual Meeting will take place the week of 23 October 2023 in Washington, D.C., USA. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates and registration information as it becomes available.
Behavioral and Social Sciences

Greg Davis, HANC Project Manager
The Youth Prevention Research Working Group is working on a guidance document for sites that are conducting, or are interested in conducting, adolescent research. The guidance document will provide recommended readings and trainings, along with feedback and recommendations from members of the Soweto Youth CAB. Once the document is finalized, it will be shared with Network Leadership and HANC collaborators. 

HANC thanks the Financial Disclosure Working Group for another successful annual solicitation. The annual solicitation was sent on September 21, 2022 and the period closed on October 21, 2022.

An ad-hoc group from the COVID-19 CAB Coalition met in October to discuss writing a manuscript on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. The group created a summary of topics discussed on work group calls from September 2020 – September 2022 to help develop an outline for the manuscript.

The Behavioral Science Consultative Group continues to meet monthly. The group is currently looking for a new meeting time for their 2023 work group calls.
Community Partners

Russell Campbell, HANC Acting Director
Community Partners is excited to announce the development of a mentorship program that sites can reach out to for support with training new community educators and CAB liaisons. This mentorship program will establish a pool of experienced CAB liaisons that sites across the networks can reach out to for mentorship (ex. how to run a CAB meeting, develop your program, schedule trainings, identify critical training needs, prepare bylaws, organize a CAB). Stay tuned for updates.
Cross-Network Coordination

Milan Vu, HANC Project Manager
The Cross-Network Protocol Deviation Working Group (PDWG) continues to meet to discuss ongoing implementation of the cross-network protocol deviation eCRF in network studies. The group is in process of updating the reference guide to support implementation of the process and interpretation of protocol deviation events, and engaging representatives from the networks in this review.

The Cross-Network Site Coordinators Working Group (SCWG) discussed new workplan objectives for the 2023 year, which will include exploring efforts to better connect CTUs and CRSs across networks; business continuity plans for major disruptions; and resources to support onboarding new study coordinators. The group also discussed updates and site challenges related to A5418, the study of tecovirimat for human monkeypox virus, given declining incidence in the U.S.

Resources from DART 1.0
Training toolkits from the DAIDS Applied Research Training (DART) 1.0 pilot event are available on the HANC website. The DART curriculum includes 13 training modules focused on strengthening Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and International Council for Harmonization (ICH) compliance at clinical research sites. The curriculum emphasizes small group, application-focused learning experiences and is free for sites to use to support staff training. 
Laboratory Coordination

Tyler Brown, HANC Project Manager
The Laboratory Technologists Committee (LTC) held a conference call in October with voting protocol support members to review committee nominations for the upcoming term. Seven LTC Voting Member vacancies and two LTC Co-Vice Chair positions will be filled for the new term, which begins December 1, 2022. 

The Lab Technologists SOP Working Group held two meetings in October to continue updating the ACTG/IMPAACT Protocol Participation and Laboratory Processing Chart Preparation Procedures. A new version (v.5.0) will be announced and made publicly available on hanc.info in the coming months.

The CPQA Cross-Network Clinical Pharmacology Forum (CNCPL Forum) held a meeting in October to discuss current and upcoming CPQA proficiency testing rounds, future network study compounds, and updates on the CPQA AVR/SOP Review Program. The meeting included a presentation by Kyle Whitson (of Frontier Science) on pharmacology-related updates to the Frontier Science AVR SOP Submission Utility. 

The CPQA Advisory Board (CPQAAB) met in October to discuss and seek feedback from group members on current CPQA Program activities. The meeting featured a virtual presentation by Kelly Dooley, MD, PhD, MPH (of Vanderbilt University) entitled An Update on TB Research Directions – Impact on Future Clinical Pharmacology Studies. In October, the CPQAAB welcomed two new members, Dr. Babafemi Taiwo (Northwestern University) and Dr. Samantha Sampson (Stellenbosch University, ZA) – welcome Babafemi and Samantha!

The Lab Focus Group (LFG) held a meeting in October with members of the DAIDS Clinical Laboratory Oversight Team (DCLOT) and Patient Safety Monitoring in International Laboratories (pSMILE) to discuss operational and regulatory changes to lab site audits, GCLP training and lab supply shortages. 
The Legacy Project

Brian Minalga, Pedro Goicochea, Tasia Baldwin; HANC Community Engagement Officers
November 1 & 2: The Legacy Project participated in a meeting with the DAIDS Cross-Network Transgender and Gender-Diverse Working Group to discuss recent NIH-funded grants related to HIV incidence among transgender people, as well as a meeting focused on developing transgender- and intersex-inclusive guidance for laboratory values in DAIDS research. The latter initiative hopes to have more information available next year.

November 1 - 3: Russell Campbell attended and presented the HPR Module as part of the Duke CFAR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Pipeline Initiative (CDEIPI) at Claflin University. The program is entitled: Evidence2Practice (E2P) and it focuses on leveraging implementation science to recruit HBCU/MSI students into careers in HIV research. E2P is an intensive on-campus workshop-based initiative, anchored by the HPR Module, with the goal of increasing student interest in careers in HIV science, through providing an experience-based introduction to implementation science.

November 9: The Representative Studies Rubric (RSR) Working Group will hold a call to hear updates on RSR implementation in each Network and provide support as needed.

November 22: Updates from the HPTN and HVTN are due to Brian Minalga for inclusion in the World AIDS Day issue of the Be the Generation newsletter.

December 1 World AIDS Day 2022: World AIDS Day is observed on December 1 every year since 1988. World AIDS Day theme this year is “Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV” to encourage people to unite globally to eliminate the disparities and inequalities that create barriers to HIV testing, prevention, and access to HIV care.  

Conferences & Meetings

February 6 - 8, 2023
HVTN Sub-Saharan African Regional Meeting (Johannesburg, South Africa)
February 19 - 22, 2023
CROI 2023 (Seattle WA, USA)
May 3 - 5, 2023
2023 HVTN Full Group Meeting (Washington DC, USA)
May 11 - 13, 2023
June 3 - 7, 2023
HPTN Annual Meeting (Washington DC, USA)
June 12 - 16, 2023
Annual ACTG Network Meeting (Washington DC, USA)