The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s research program is focused on advancing scientific knowledge about the prevention, intervention, and treatment of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases in collaboration with academic institutions, including UCLA, USC and UCSF.
Our HIV research is aligned with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, focused on intervening at every stage of HIV infection: testing high risk populations, linking newly diagnosed people to HIV care, retaining them in care, starting them on HIV medications as soon as possible, supporting and increasing adherence to their antiretroviral medications, and ultimately reducing their viral load to undetectable levels.
We conduct the following types of studies:
- Investigational new drug studies - To investigate the safety and effectiveness of new medications
- Biomedical device studies - We study HIV testing devices to improve their accuracy, convenience, and acceptability. Most recently we completed a trial of a rapid HIV test that identifies both HIV antibody and antigen, which could help detect recent or ‘acute’ HIV infections in a more cost effective way.
- Bio-behavioral research - We conduct bio-behavioral studies such as the NIH funded mStudy (MSM and Substance Using Cohort at UCLA: Linking Infections/Noting Effects), which studies HIV+ and HIV- substance-using gay and bisexual men of color to better understand the current HIV epidemic and populations most impacted.
- Longitudinal Studies – We operate one of the study sites for the largest and longest-running study of the natural history of HIV/AIDS, the Multi-Center AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) of more than 6,000 gay men. The MACS has accumulated vast amounts of crucial data that have contributed immeasurably to the study and understanding of the virus, its treatment, and prevention.
- Epidemiologic studies – A few of the studies we’ve conducted have examined the risks of sexually transmitted diseases associated with the use of mobile phone “hook-up” apps, the risk of HIV infection among crystal meth users.
- Studying the HIV "Care Continuum" – The idea of "ending the HIV epidemic" is based on intervening with the virus at every state: testing high risk populations, preventing new infections, identifying new infections, linking people to care, retaining them in care, and helping them stay adherent to their anti-retroviral medications.
Taking part in research is an important personal decision that requires careful consideration of the potential benefits and risks. You can learn more about volunteering for research studies by visiting these websites: