Evaluating PrEP Implementation in Chicago (EPIC)

Dr. George Greene, associate director of the Evaluation, Data Integration, and Technical Assistance Program, is leading an NIMH-funded Administrative Supplement awarded to the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research: PrEP Implementation Science Research to Inform an Integrated Public Health Model for Biomedical HIV Prevention in Chicago. This initiative supports collaborations between researchers and health departments funded under Project PrIDE (CDC PS15-1506) to address research gaps to inform and improve PrEP delivery utilizing implementation science approaches.

In partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Center for Implementation Methodology for Drug Abuse and HIV, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, and the University of Chicago, the EDIT Program seeks to identify implementation strategies that lead to successful adoption of an intervention by an agency, reach into a community, and long-term sustainment. This project provides an unprecedented opportunity to collaborate with CDPH to develop and refine an integrated HIV care and HIV prevention continuum, and builds upon EDIT Program activities that focus on evaluating PrEP demonstration projects funded under Project PrIDE.

Known as Evaluating PrEP Implementation in Chicago (EPIC), this project has the long-term goal of decreasing HIV transmissions by increasing PrEP uptake, particularly among high-risk populations given disparities in HIV prevention efforts and infection rates. Adopting an implementation science approach, EPIC proposes to achieve the following aims:

  • Aim 1: To examine multilevel factors associated with successful PrEP implementation and uptake. Subaims include: a) Identifying organizational and structural factors associated with PrEP program implementation; and b) Identifying individual factors that predict PrEP use and adherence, particularly among young Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) and Black transgender women (BTW).
    • The project will combine multiple sources of data made available through the proposed partnership (e.g., HIV surveillance data, PrEP demonstration project evaluation data, university research data) and use Integrative Data Analysis to generate a holistic picture of the PrEP landscape in Chicago.
  • Aim 2: To conceptualize and operationalize an integrated HIV continuum model to develop metrics for monitoring PrEP implementation efforts.
    • The project will conduct interviews with healthcare stakeholders (i.e., HIV/STI providers, administrators; n = 18) and focus groups with consumer stakeholders (i.e., young BMSM and BTW; n = 6) to obtain their perspectives on and experiences with PrEP vis-à-vis the current PrEP and HIV continuums of care, as well as opinions on barriers and facilitators in the proposed integrated continuum.

Principal Investigator (CFAR): Richard T. D’Aquila, M.D.
Supplement Project Leader: George J. Greene, Ph.D.
Co-InvestigatorsGregory Phillips II, Ph.D., M.S., C. Hendricks Brown, Ph.D., Amy K. Johnson, Ph.D., M.S.W., and J.D. Smith, Ph.D.
Team MembersPeter Lindeman, M.A., Ramona Bhatia, M.D., M.S., Christina Hayford, M.S., M.S.P., Brandon Hill, Ph.D., Juan Villamar, M.S.Ed.
FunderNational Institute of Mental Health