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Research

Research Component:   Effects of Chronic Alcohol Abuse on HIV in the Genital Mucosal Environment

Research Component:   Alcohol & Metabolic Dysregulation in SIV/HIV; muscle & adipose mechanisms

Research Component:   Alcohol Use Disorder & Aging in HIV: The Role of the Microbiota & Inflamm-aging

Research Component:   Social Environmental Stress and Alcohol Use in PLWHA

Translational Research/ Education:

Pilot Project 1: Plasma microRNAs as biomarkers for AUD in HIV-patients

Pilot Project 2:  Stress Reactivity & Alcohol Craving in People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) & AUD

 

Research Component: Effects of Chronic Alcohol Abuse on HIV in the Genital Mucosal Environment

Principal Investigator: Angela Amedee, PhD; Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

Co-investigators: Ronald Veazey, DVM, PhD; TNPRC

Overall hypothesis: We hypothesize that chronic Binge Alcohol (CBA): (1) Enhances the acquisition and early replication of HIV following vaginal exposure by changing the function and distribution of submucosal immune cells and reducing the innate defenses of the genital compartment; and (2) Increases viral replication in tissue reservoirs specifically in the genital tract, resulting in the persistence and shedding of HIV within the reproductive tract; and (3) Exacerbates viral replication and shedding in the genital compartment of gonadal hormone-deficient females

Research Component: Alcohol & Metabolic Dysregulation in SIV/HIV; muscle & adipose mechanisms

Principal Investigator: Patricia Molina, MD, PhD; Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

Co-Investigator: Liz Simon,  BVSc., Ph.D.

Overall hypothesis: The altered SKM and lipodystrophic alterations contribute to decrease insulin sensitivity in CBA/SIV/ART+ female macaques and that loss of gonadal function, leading to decreased estrogen levels, will aggravate SKM and lipodystrophy, and lead to dysglycemia (pre-diabetic state) by exacerbating the CBA- and SIV-associated proinflammatory state.

Research Component:  Alcohol Use Disorder & Aging in HIV: The Role of the Microbiota & Inflamm-aging

Principal Investigator: David Welsh, MD; Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

Co-Investigators:

Overall hypothesis: Excessive alcohol use in HIV infected individuals accelerates aging. We further hypothesize that alimentary tract dysbiosis in HIV infected individuals with alcohol use disorder accelerates aging by amplifying inflamm-aging.

Research Component: Social Environmental Stress and Alcohol Use in PLWHA

Principal Investigator: Katherine Theall, PhD; Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Overall hypothesis: That ELA events have set individuals on a biologic trajectory that is manifested in adulthood and exacerbated by CPS, but that ELA plays a significant role in clinical outcomes through its impact on biologic stress and coping behaviors like heavy alcohol use.  We expect to achieve our objective by studying a dynamic longitudinal cohort of adults (18+ years) living with HIV in an urban Southeastern U.S. city with high prevalence of new HIV cases and high stress environment.  

Currently, empirical research that takes a life course and social determinants perspective on health among persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) is limited, and a better understanding of the mechanism linking early life adversity (ELA) and chronic psychosocial stress (CPS) is needed for improved treatment and prevention efforts. This includes the impact of neighborhood context and daily activity spaces. The overall objective of this project is to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms through which ELA and CPS lead to poor clinical outcomes—within and between sex, gender and racial/ethnic groups—and the unique role that alcohol consumption plays in this pathway. To address the current challenges facing effective efforts to improve care, it is paramount that we focus on not only multiple social determinants, but also on the social experiences and lives of PLWH.  Results will inform disease management and prevention efforts and the science behind ELA and CPS, providing critical information for mutable targets for inclusion in structural, individual-level, and multilevel interventions.

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Translational Research/ Education: The Information Dissemination Core

Principal Investigator: Scott Edwards, PhD; Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

Co-Investigators:

Overall hypothesis: The Information Dissemination Core aims to impact knowledge, attitudes, and behavior regarding patterns and trajectories of alcohol use, especially as it pertains to persons living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA).

 

Pilot Project 1: Plasma microRNAs as biomarkers for AUD in HIV-patients

Principal Investigator: Francesca Peruzzi, PhD; Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

Overall hypothesis: That HIV-patients with AUD and cognitive impairment have a plasma microRNA signature which is different from HIV-patients without AUD and without cognitive impairment.

  Status:  Completed. Publication in revision

Pilot Project 2: Stress Reactivity & Alcohol Craving in People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) & AUD

Principal Investigator: Nicholas Gilpin, PhD; Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

Co Investigator: Katherine Theall, PhD; Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Overall hypothesis: That PLWHA with AUD will exhibit blunted HPA stress response, NPY deficits, over-expression of genes that promote GR function, and higher basal and stress-induced alcohol craving than non-AUD controls, and that stress biomarker levels will be associated with alcohol craving in PLWHA with AUD

   Status: In progress



 

Funding for this site is provided by The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).