HIV/AIDS Nursing Care and Prevention

Investigator: Carmen Portillo, RN, PhD, FAAN
Sponsor: NIH National Institute of Nursing Research

Location(s): United States


The School of Nursing's HIV/AIDS program of research has evolved over time and will highlight prevention strategies for communities at greatest risk in this competitive renewal. This new focus will be in alignment with the current HIV epidemic in the U.S. and the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan, as well as with the National Institute of Nursing Research's Stratgic Plan, which focuses on the promotion of health and quality of life. The pre-doctoral curriculum provides for advanced coursework in philosophy and epistemology, research methodology, substantive nursing science, biostatistics, socio-cultural issues and HIV/AIDS prevention and care. Research residences are required. The postdoctoral training program is tailored to fit the interests and needs of the trainee, as related to HIV/AIDS. Postdoctoral trainees are required to articulate a focused program of research and write an extramural grant application. There are opportunities to participate in graduate course work and to publish work from dissertations when appropriate. Both pre- and postdoctoral trainees are trained in issues related to the protection of human research subjects and HIPAA. In addition, all pre- and postdoctoral trainees are assigned a training program mentor, to help guide their subject-specific learning. Since its initial funding period, the training program has successfully recruited and retained a diverse group of trainees, and seeks to continue these efforts. Nine key and twelve contributing faculty are available to support the research training of the pre- and postdoctoral trainees. The non-nursing faculty members bring expertise in human development, psychology, clinical trials, genetics/genomics, HIV prevention expertise, health care disparities and medical management of HIV infection. Together, the team represents all four graduate programs at UCSF (Nursing, Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy), as well as expert partners from the community. The UCSF School of Nursing continues to be in a unique position to support pre- and postdoctoral trainees in HIV/AIDS Nursing Care and Prevention because of the rich research environment at UCSF in HIV/AIDS prevention and care, the established research base of the faculty, access to clinical sites that care for people living with HIV/AIDS, and linkages with community-based organizations.

HIV/AIDS continues to be a public health problem both in the United States and abroad, and nurses are in a unique position to conduct research on prevention and care efforts. Thus, the overarching goal of the proposed program is to train nurses to become leaders in HIV/AIDS research in order to expand knowledge and translate it into improved care for people affected and infected with HIV. The proposed program will support four predoctoral trainees and two postdoctoral trainees each year, and seeks to recruit a diverse group of students.