Dr. Shoptaw Travels to South Africa

Dr. Shoptaw traveled back to Cape Town, South Africa in February! While there, he met with our team at the University of Cape Town as they finish up a research project looking at the neuroscience behind contingency management for methamphetamine users. He also met with additional faculty at the University of Cape Town to discuss several exciting new research endeavors to expand our global efforts. We aim to bring the innovative, state-of-the-art interventions to Cape Town where HIV, substance use disorder and mental health issues continue to negatively impact quality of life.


(Photo: From left, Dr. Dan Stein, Dr. Adele Pretorius, Dr. Steven Shoptaw.)

CBAM Receives Award From the California Community Foundation

CCFLogoUCLA CBAM received a grant of $102,472 from the California Community Foundation to study the links between mental health and biological predictors of health outcomes in a cohort of primarily minority men who have sex with men (MSM) who are HIV positive. This is a population with low rates of viral suppression, a key measure of health outcomes for those affected by HIV. Viral suppression is an indicator, not only of overall health, but of transmission risk as those who are virally suppressed present a negligible risk to transmit HIV to another person. For this reason, ensuring that HIV-positive people are able to attain viral suppression is of import for both the HIV-positive and HIV-negative communities. Findings from this project will expand the base of evidence that informs policy makers of how best to allocate their resources.

The California Community Foundation’s mission is to lead positive systemic change that strengthens local communities. We are honored to have been chosen as one of their grantees in the quest to build a healthier Los Angeles.


CBAM Attends Transgender Summit at LATT


PhotoGrid_1519412337843CBAM’s Chris Blades attended the Los Angeles Community College District’s Transgender Summit at Los Angeles Trade Tech. The purpose of the summit was to share information, resources, and ideas to support transgender/gender-nonconforming individuals at the community colleges within Los Angeles County. Sessions at this summit focused on a variety of issues including internalized transphobia, how to empower LGBTQ youth, as well as cultural competency for businesses.

CBAM Staff Work With Local Youth Organization to Design Clinic Mural


Staff from the UCLA Vine Street Clinic recently participated in a mural design project with the Hollywood Police Activities League (PAL) and Arts Bridging the Gap. PAL is a community-based program that provides youth with positive alternatives to drugs and crime. Arts Bridging the Gap also supports youth by linking together artists, educators, and community organizations to create meaningful and impactful art in the community.

Our staff spent an afternoon brainstorming ideas with members of each organization, kids from the community and a local artist to come up with some beautiful designs. One drawing will be chosen as the basis for the mural to be installed at our clinic this Spring! The mural is part of the Los Angeles street art initiative that brings underserved youth, LAPD officers and members of our community together to create public art pieces to elevate community pride and engagement in our city.

HPTN Debuts New Tool for Researchers!


SUMI TOOLWe cordially invite you to join the webinar introducing the Substance Use Measure Identification (SUMI) Tool. Dr. Shoptaw, Executive Committee Liaison for the Substance Use Scientific Committee SUSC worked in collaboration with Drs. Steffanie Strathdee and Nabila El-Bassel, and the SUSC to develop this tool to help researchers efficiently identify appropriate biomarker and behavioral survey measures to assess substance use in the context of HIV. Dr. Shipeng Chen designed and developed this tool. This collaboration, which began two years ago, involved not just the SUSC, but experts from many fields within the Network.

This web-based, interactive tool demonstration will take place this Tuesday, November 21 at 12:00pm PT.

To register, click this link!

Testing New Forms of Long-Acting HIV Prevention Medications

The UCLA Vine Street Clinic team is excited to be a part of on-going research testing the effectiveness of long-acting forms of HIV prevention medications. The current option, Truvada™ for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) requires that people take a pill every day, which can present barriers for many. There are two studies currently seeking to expand the options available for PrEP.

The first is the AMP Study (Antibody Mediated Prevention). This is a new approach to HIV prevention. Usually, people receive a vaccine and their bodies produce antibodies that prevent the person from becoming infected with the disease. The AMP Study’s approach is different. Research participants will be given the antibodies directly (skipping the vaccination) via an intravenous infusion. The goal of this study is to test whether this broadly-neutralizing antibody (named VRC01) can prevent HIV infections. For more information and details, check out their website: https://ampstudy.org/about

The second study is CAB LA. CAB LA, formally known as “HPTN 083: A Phase 2b/3 Double Blind Safety and Efficacy Study of Injectable Cabotegravir Compared to Daily Oral Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate/Emtricitabine (TDF/FTC), for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis in HIV-Uninfected Cisgender Men and Transgender Women who have Sex with Men,”. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of an injectable medication – cabotegravir – as PrEP in HIV-negative cisgender men and transgender women who have sex with men. Participants will receive the injections 4 weeks apart and every 8 weeks thereafter. We are one of two Los Angeles sites for this study, the other being the UCLA CARE Center. For more information about CAB LA, check out the HPTN site: https://www.hptn.org/research/studies/hptn083.

UCLA Vine Street Clinic is proud to be part of these global efforts to end the spread of HIV. If you would like to participate in one of these studies, you can contact our staff at (866) 449-UCLA.

Dr. Walter Ling Honored at CPDD


CBAM would like to congratulate Dr. Walter Ling, 2017 recipient of the Nathan B. Eddy Memorial Award, acknowledging outstanding research efforts that have advanced knowledge of drug dependence. Dr. Ling’s research provided key information that led to the approval of many of the existing medication options for treating drug dependence. His illustrious career spans decades, covering groundbreaking research into the treatment of opioid, cocaine, and methamphetamine use disorders. His work has expanded to 15 countries to advance addiction medicine and research. The much-deserved award was presented on June 18 at the annual College on Problems of Drug Dependence conference. Dr. Ling is a long-time colleague and mentor to CBAM faculty and staff.

Ling CPDD Award_2017

HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Services at Charles R. Drew and MLK Outpatient Center


Dr. Wilbert Jordan, Medical Director of the OASIS Clinic at Martin Luther King Jr. Outpatient Center and Associate Professor, Internal Medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU), recently announced that the OASIS Clinic has initiated biomedical services to prevent HIV. Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is one of the newest tools available in the HIV prevention toolbox.

PrEP is a way for people who don’t have HIV but who are at very high risk of getting it to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day. It is an FDA-approved medication that is highly effective in preventing HIV when taken properly. South Los Angeles has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the entire county. It now has low and no-cost PrEP available as an additional strategy for fighting this epidemic.

To support patients in accessing PrEP clinical services, Charles R. Drew University recently received a grant from Gilead Sciences, the maker of the PrEP drug, Truvada. The grant funds PrEP Navigation services to assist patients in navigating complex medical and psychosocial systems to help them obtain and adhere to PrEP. Under the direction of David P. Lee, Community Faculty at CDU, the program will be staffed with two PrEP Navigators with services available in English and Spanish. The Navigators will also increase patient education and community awareness in the Watts, Willowbrook, and Compton communities.
“PrEP information and access has spread like wildfire in many parts of LA County, but many of the people who come to our HIV testing site have never heard about PrEP. That’s unfortunate, because in many ways, the need is greatest here in South Central Los Angeles. But, hopefully, this is the beginning of complete access for this community,” Lee says.

The PrEP Navigation Services are housed in Building M with the HIV Testing and Counseling Program. Since HIV testing is a required part of accessing PrEP services, the proximity of both programs provides seamless referrals for HIV testing, PrEP navigation, and PrEP clinical services. The office can be reached at 323-563-5804.

Jan B. King, MD, MPH, Area Health Officer for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Public Health, also announced PrEP clinics will be held there each Thursday, starting March 30, 2017 from 4:00PM to 8:00.

The health center is located at 11833 S. Wilmington Ave, Los Angeles, CA. The center can be reached at 323-568-8100, press “0” after the language prompt.

2016 Publications!

CBAM works at the intersection of academia and community. We frequently publish findings from our research and collaborative projects with top scientific journals. Summaries of those articles are made available on our website so that everyone can see the fruits of our labor. In 2016, we covered a range of topics from HIV Stigma to integrating substance use care in primary health care settings. Read more here: http://www.uclacbam.org/about-us/publicationsresources/.

Research study candidate now sober!


This lovely card arrived at the UCLA Vine Street Clinic over the holidays. It came from a patient who screened for one of our methamphetamine clinical trials. She was ultimately considered ineligible because of a medical condition, but the diagnosis she received here, prompted her to see her primary care physician. She wrote to let us know that, not only is her condition now under control, but that “My visits to your clinic were the catalyst that inspired my abstinence”. She’s been clean for more than a month.

It warms our hearts to know that we make a difference, even to those patients who don’t make it into our studies.