HIV/AIDS Projects


Trajectories of HIV Sexual Risks: Impacts of Drug Use, Mental Health, and Criminality
David Huang, DrPH, Principal Investigator (yhuang@ucla.edu)
Debra A. Murphy, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
Yih-Ing Hser, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
M. Isabella Lanza, Ph.D., Project Director (hilanza@ucla.edu)

The purpose of this research is to conduct extensive analyses on the national representative sample of youths (NLSY97) to identify distinctive trajectories of HIV sexual risk behaviors and to examine how the distinctive trajectories are influenced by drug use, mental health, delinquency and other factors.  We focus on the following research questions: (1) Are there subgroups of individuals with distinctive patterns of sexual-risk trajectories, and how do women and men differ in these patterns?; (2) What factors distinguish different sexual-risk trajectories?; and (3) How are sexual-risk trajectories associated with alcohol use, marijuana use, and delinquency over time?

The study has identified five distinctive sexual-risk trajectory patterns from ages 15 to 23 among adolescents.  The High group had a risk trajectory that was high at age 15 and increased over the observed ages.  The Decreased group had a risk trajectory that was accelerated before age 19, but decreased afterwards.  The risk trajectories of the Increased-Early and Increased-Late groups were low at age 15, but increased significantly starting at age 16 for the former group and at age 18 for the latter group.  Participants in the Low group remained at low risk over time.  The findings support the concept that sexual risk behavior is dynamic and that there are distinct developmental trajectories of such behavior among adolescents.  Heterogeneity of developmental trajectories of sexual risk behavior indicates a need for diverse prevention programs targeted to various subgroups. 

Trajectories of HIV Sexual Risks: Impacts of Drug Use, Mental Health, and Criminality was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, grant 1 R03 MH084434, from June 2009 to May 2011.


A Parenting Intervention for HIV+ Moms: The IMAGE Program
Debra A. Murphy, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (dmurphy@mednet.ucla.edu)
Diana Payne, Ph.D., Project Director

The purpose of this R01 pilot study is to develop and then test the feasibility of implementing a parenting intervention for HIV-infected mothers with well children age 6 – 14 years old. The intervention is designed to improve parenting skills and maternal self-care skills in order to improve child and maternal outcomes.  The basis for development of this intervention is work from two previous R01s (MH # 5R01MH057207) designed to longitudinally assess HIV-positive mothers and their children. MLH (n = 60) and their children (total N = 120) will be recruited, randomized to a theory- based, skills training intervention or a control condition, and assessed at baseline and 3, 6, and 12-month follow-ups.  The intervention (“Improving Mothers’ parenting Abilities, Growth, & Effectiveness”—the IMAGE program) will consist of 5 sessions, and will be based on the Information – Motivation – Behavioral Skills (IMB) model of health behavior change, with specific skills selected based on our 10-year observational study of MLH and their children, which is on-going at UCLA. A random subset of 40% of the intervention mothers (n = 12) will be asked to participate in an in-depth qualitative interview after their last follow-up, to obtain detailed process information on their experiences in the intervention.

A Parenting Intervention for HIV+ Moms: The IMAGE Program was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, grant 1 R01 MH086329, from April 2010 to December 2013.


Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services
Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (rotheram@ucla.edu)
Debra A. Murphy, Ph.D., Co-Investigator

This Center comprises an interdisciplinary group from UCLA, Drew University, RAND, and the Los Angeles County community (Department of Health and community-based agencies) with the aim of enhancing understanding of HIV research and promoting early detection and effective prevention and treatment programs for HIV at the societal, community, and individual levels.

Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, Grant 5 P30 MH58107 (September 1997 through December 2012).


Maternal HIV: Intervention to Assist Disclosure to Children
Debra A. Murphy, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (dmurphy@mednet.ucla.edu)
Mary-Lynn Brecht, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
Diana Payne, Ph.D., Project Director

This small 3-year R01 was designed to develop and pilot test an intervention to assist mothers living with HIV (MLWH) to disclose their serostatus to their young (age 6 – 12 years old) children. Information gathered in previous two R01s was used to develop a brief disclosure intervention to assist HIV-infected mothers of young children to appropriately disclose their serostatus to their child. Feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of the intervention were tested in a pilot trial. MLWHs (N = 80) were randomly assigned to the intervention or control condition. MLWHs and children were assessed at baseline, 3-, 6-, and 9-month follow-ups. A random subset of intervention mothers (n = 12) were asked to participate in an in-depth qualitative interview after their last follow-up to obtain detailed information on their experiences in the study. The aims of the intervention were to: facilitate disclosure of the MLWHs' HIV status to their children; increase their self-efficacy to responding to children's questions regarding HIV; reduce fears regarding disclosure and stigma; improve maternal knowledge of child development and how to provide age-appropriate levels of information; improve MLWHs' mental health indicators over time; improve children's mental health indicators over time; and improve family functioning indicators.  The study has just recently completed final data analyses, with a clinically and statistically significant intervention effect.  The outcome paper has been submitted, and a full scale trial of the intervention is now being planned.

Maternal HIV: Intervention to Assist Disclosure to Children was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, Grant 1 R01 MH077493 (January 2007 to December 2010).


Longitudinal Study of Maternal HIV on their Late Adolescent/Early Adult Children
Debra A. Murphy, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
(dmurphy@mednet.ucla.edu)
Diane Herbeck, M.A., Project Coordinator

This study was designed to extend and expand a longitudinal study (R01-MH057207-10), "Parents And Children Coping Together" (PACT). The original study was designed to longitudinally assess mothers living with HIV (MLHs) and their young, well children 6 to 11 years old.  Five follow-ups were conducted at 6-month intervals in the PACT study.  A subsequent longitudinal study, "Parents and Adolescents Coping Together" (PACT II), followed up the majority of these families when the children were transitioning to early and middle adolescence; there were 6 follow-ups.  This study  ("PACT III") continues to follow the MLHs and adolescents one last time, to continue to investigate outcomes as the adolescents transition to late adolescence/young adulthood.  Both quantitative and qualitative interviews are being conducted.  This is the first cohort of children in the U.S. to be followed almost continuously as they grow up to adulthood while living with a mother with HIV/AIDS.

The Longitudinal Study of Maternal HIV on their Late Adolescent/Early Adult Children was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, Grant R01 MH57207-11 (2008 - 2013).

Last Updated:  11/16/2011

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