Yale researchers to receive $11 million in grants to study AIDS, alcohol, and aging

A team of Yale researchers have received renewed grant funding from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The grants, totaling approximately $11 million, support research conducted by the Yale-led Consortium to improve Outcomes in HIV/AIDS, Alcohol, Aging, and multi-Substance use (COMpAAAS) over the next five years.

Dr. Amy Justice

Dr. Amy Justice, professor of general medicine and public health, is the principal investigator (PI) for the consortium overall and for two of the grants. Additional Yale PIs are Dr. David Fiellin, Dr. Cynthia Brandt, and Dr. Janet Tate.

Their mission is to “build and disseminate the evidence needed to optimize care for HIV+ individuals who are experiencing medical harm from alcohol and related substance use through coordinated, integrated, and externally validated observational, operations research modeling, and intervention studies.”

According to Justice, “Our prior work has shown that ongoing alcohol use is common among those aging with HIV infection and often harmful. We hope to identify and test approaches that minimize this harm in the course of clinical care for HIV and related conditions.” 

The grants will support the research to:                                  

  • Guide observational, intervention, and modeling research to optimize care for HIV-positive individuals harmed by alcohol
  • Determine which medications are helpful and which may be harmful in the context of aging with HIV infection, ongoing alcohol use, and polypharmacy
  • Compare a behavioral therapy, plus “stepped care” approach versus standard treatment for alcohol abstinence
  • Evaluate the impact of alcohol abstinence on treatment for Hepatitis C
  • Provide statistical and informatics expertise for COMpAAAS to maximize scientific impact