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Fall 1999

Treatment Education Technical Assistance Program Launched

CRIA is proud to announce the receipt of start up grants from the Ittleson Foundation and Glaxo Wellcome to begin a formal HIV Treatment Education Technical Assistance Program.

CRIA has been a leading provider of HIV Treatment Education for medically-underserved people living with AIDS (PLWAs) in the New York Metropolitan area since 1997. In order to reach more persons in need, CRIA has designed an initiative to leverage existing AIDS service organization staff resources to substantially expand this vital information function. The new program's goal is to teach case managers, other care providers, and peer counselors how to deliver comprehensive information on the latest treatment advances, including the critical importance of adherence, through culturally and linguistically appropriate terminology. Many thousands more people living with AIDS will in turn learn about their most beneficial treatment options than is currently possible. Most importantly, this is a national initiative which is aimed at rapidly proliferating HIV treatment education services in areas of the United States which have large ethnic minority and women populations.

CRIA is pleased to announce that Ayisa Kennedy was recently hired to direct this new initiative. Ayisa comes to our agency with an in-depth understanding of the many issues surrounding complex antiretroviral and prophylaxis treatments for HIV infection, and most importantly has experience in teaching these issues to both PLWAs and their care givers.

Prior to joining CRIA, Ayisa was the Research Referral Coordinator at the Clinical Directors Network, a New York City based non-profit where she provided extensive education on HIV clinical trials. Ayisa has also long played an influential role in directing national HIV treatment policy as an active board member of both the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Collaborative Group on Women and HIV and the Research Care and Treatment Committee of the Office of Women's Health.

CRIA is very excited to have someone of Ayisa's qualifications and abilities to direct this new program. We look forward to her contributions to our work to make the most effective HIV treatments available to individuals who need them most.

CRIA's Redesigned Web Page and New Address Now Online

CRIA has moved its web site address from to to make it easier for Internet users to find and access the site.

In addition, CRIA is finalizing a major redesign of its web site. With the help of a prominent graphics designer, we now have a site with the capacity to efficiently manage our agency's rapidly growing HIV treatment education and clinical research resources on the Internet. The new site will offer the same valuable information as CRIA's old site, but in a much more logical format.

The new web site is being organized around a traditional filing system concept. Information on the agency, on each of our two core healthcare programs, and on fundraising and volunteering opportunities will now be located in their own individual web site sections. For example, users can access online copies of CRIA Update, of our topic specific treatment education brochures, and summaries of our monthly Community Treatment Forums within their own "file folders" in a treatment education section. Links to other HIV treatment education sites are also offered within this area. Likewise, information on clinical research, including trials enrolling, is contained within several file folders in the research section of the web site. And, for the first time, we will soon be providing materials in Spanish online.

Next to come is the CRIA Store, which will give users the opportunity to purchase unique products as a way of supporting our agency's mission.

CRIA Elects Board Members

CRIA is pleased to announce the re-election of Board Members Ross Bleckner, Jill Cadman, Charles Franchino, DC , Donald Kotler, MD, and Carlos Sandoval , Esq at our September 15th Annual Meeting. Additionally, Ross Bleckner was re-elected to the post of President, Donald Kotler, MD as Vice-President, Carlos Sandoval , Esq as Secretary, and Charles Franchino, DC as Treasurer. The long-term contributions of these five individuals have made a critical difference in the organization's research and education functions, and we look forward to their continued contribution to CRIA's activities during their next two-year term of office.

Also at the September meeting, Gary Bonasorte was elected as CRIA's newest Board Member. Gary will add a unique "insider's" perspective to the deliberations of this key advisory body. He was among the first people living with AIDS to volunteer at the agency's inception in December 1991 and later served as a staff member. His extensive knowledge of our programs, staff, and the challenges we face will be of tremendous help in the coming years.

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This article was provided by AIDS Community Research Initiative of America. It is a part of the publication CRIA Update. Visit ACRIA's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.