The CDC has awarded a major research grant to a team led by Omar Martinez, assistant professor of Social Work at the College of Public Health. The four-year grant enables Martinez and his team to implement and test an HIV prevention intervention program called Conectando Latinos en Parejas, which they developed as part of a recent study (read more about its findings here). Their intervention is designed to be culturally and linguistically appropriate for Latino men who have sex with men (MSM)—a population disproportionately affected by HIV.
“This project responds to a recently released 2016 CDC study on current HIV diagnosis rates,” says Martinez. “About one in four Latino MSM in the United States will be diagnosed with HIV during their lifetime.” The grant includes funding for GALAEI, an organization that provides HIV testing and treatment for sexual and gender minority Latinos/as in Philadelphia, which is partnering with the research team to test the new intervention and integrate the study’s findings into public health practice. “This project will take our line of research to the next level, and potentially make a positive impact in the communities we serve,” says Martinez.
Martinez’s research team also includes faculty from Nova Southeastern University and Columbia University.