The grant is a part of a new $100 million, 10-year program Gilead introduced to address HIV/AIDS in the Southern United States. As part of the program, three coordinating centers will identify and provide funding to local organizations to address the epidemic throughout the region. The UH center will boost HIV/AIDS prevention efforts by incorporating attention to the roles of wellness, trauma, mental health and substance use, especially opioid use. In addition the inclusion of comprehensive assessments of well-being, mental health trauma and substance use through evidence-based screenings and appropriate follow-up care will improve overall health outcomes.
“We’re grateful for this opportunity to fight such an important yet challenging fight,” said Samira Ali, SUSTAIN Center director and assistant professor at the UH Graduate College of Social Work. “As part of the Gilead COMPASS Initiative, the University of Houston is committed to addressing HIV/AIDS disparities. By using a community-centered approach, we’ll mobilize people to be part of the solution.”