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Dr. Yue Pan Awarded CLaRO Grant to Study HIV Care Outcomes in Miami among Venezuelans

Latinx immigrants account for 43 percent of new HIV diagnoses among Latinx in the U.S. They are also at greater risk of late presentation into care compared to non-immigrants, and this has been the case for the recent waves of migrants from Venezuela. To study this further, the Center for Latino Health Research Opportunities (CLaRO) has awarded Yue Pan, Ph.D., assistant professor in the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences, a grant to study HIV care outcomes in Miami among Venezuelans.

“Venezuela is facing a devastating health crisis because of the intensified economic and political disruptions in the past few years,” said Dr. Pan, who has extensive training and experience in HIV prevention and behavioral research. “One of the heavily impacted populations is people living with HIV in the country. The crisis has disrupted all aspects of the HIV continuum of care, including delayed HIV diagnosis and entry into care, discontinued antiretroviral therapy access and adherence, and poor long-term retention in care.”

Dr. Pan explains that many have been fleeing to the U.S. to seek HIV health care and medications. One of the main destinations they are going to is Miami. 

To conduct the study, Dr. Pan and his research team will document, examine, and understand the relationship between the disruption of treatment, mental health, and HIV virologic suppression among Latinx people who live with HIV emigrating from Venezuela, as well as identify potential health disparities between those who have migrated from Venezuela and non-immigrant counterparts in the Miami area. Consistent with CLaRO’s theme and mission, results from Dr. Pan’s current study will help inform an intervention to reduce Latinx minority health disparities on HIV prevention and optimize access to HIV care continua in this population.

“Findings from this study can potentially inform policy and early interventions to be implemented in future cases of natural or man-made disruptions to HIV care among Latinx minorities,” added Dr. Pan.

A team of experts in HIV health disparities, and mental health and behavioral research will be mentoring Dr. Pan during the course of the study, including the University of Miami and Miller School of Medicine’s Daniel Feaster, Ph.D., professor, Steven Safren, Ph.D., professor of psychology, Viviana E. Horigian, M.D., M.H.A., professor and executive director of the Florida Node Alliance of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network, as well as Jorge Saavedra, M.D., M.P.H., M.H.P.M., director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation Global Public Health Institute.

Written by Amanda Torres 
Published on April 7, 2021