UH Graduate College of Social work to establish coordinating center for HIV/AIDS prevention

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The University of Houston will establish one of three coordinating centers for HIV/AIDS prevention that will identify and provide funding to local organizations due to a $5 million grant from Gilead Sciences, Inc.

The grant was awarded to the UH Graduate College of Social Work and will be used to establish the SUSTAIN [Supporting U.S. Southern States to Incorporate Trauma-Informed HIV/AIDS Initiatives for Wellbeing] Wellbeing COMPASS Coordinating Center that will enhance HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services in five southern states with record high HIV rates that include Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, according to a press release from the university.

“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,” the release stated.

The grant is part of Gilead’s 10-year program to address HIV/AIDS concerns in the southern U.S.

“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.”

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Originally from Houston, Rebecca joined Community Impact in June 2017 to report on the Richmond area. She covers the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court, city government, education, business and transportation.

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