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Fall 2006

New Board Members Welcomed

Three new members were voted onto ACRIA's Board of Directors at its September 2006 meeting. They are:

Alphonso B. David, a staff attorney at the Lambda Legal Defense and Educational Fund and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law. At Lambda, David prosecutes and defends precedent-setting civil rights cases across the country that affect LGBT individuals and those living with HIV. At Fordham, he teaches "Constitutional Law: Sexuality and the Law."

Christopher Murray, Mental Health Counselor and Project Coordinator of the LGBT Smoke-Free Project at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. A long-time HIV/AIDS advocate and activist, Murray's resume includes work with Cicatelli Associates, the PWA Leadership Training Institute, and GMHC.

Vaughn C. Williams, partner in the prestigious law firm Skadden, Arps. In addition to securities and corporate, class action, and commercial litigation, Williams is active in Skadden, Arps's pro bono practice and is a member of the committee that administers the firm's fellowship program.

Staff Changes and Additions

Sadly, we must say goodbye to Development Director J.A. Forde. During a remarkable fourteen years with ACRIA, Forde helped the agency survive and thrive and helped to make it the well-known and respected part of the HIV landscape that it is today. We wish him nothing but the best in his new position as Special Events Director at Interview Magazine.

Forde is succeeded by newly appointed Development Director Michelle Gerber, who comes to ACRIA from the Coalition for the Homeless, where she served as Director of Development. Her previous experience includes development work at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the World Conference on Religion and Peace.

Gerber will soon be joined by Scott Drevnig, who will fill the newly created position of Special Events Manager. Drevnig brings to ACRIA over fourteen years experience with creative and Fortune 500 companies in building and implementing sales, business development, and marketing initiatives.

The Research Department is also expanding, and Dolores Holman is slated to be ACRIA's new Clinical Trials Manager. Holman has worked most recently as a clinical research coordinator at Winthrop University Hospital and at the Research Testing Laboratories, both on Long Island, and as a research technician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC.

ROAH Attracts National Attention

The response to the release of ACRIA's Research on Older Adults (ROAH) study (see Summer 2006 ACRIA Update) has been phenomenal. ACRIA has been given a prime slot for a symposium on HIV and Older Adults at the prestigious Gerontological Society of America meeting in Dallas this coming November. The symposium will be chaired by ACRIA's Senior Research Associate Andrew Shippy and Marjorie Cantor, Professor Emerita and Brookdale Distinguished Scholar at Fordham University, who chaired the ROAH Advisory Committee. At the conference, ACRIA will also give nine other presentations on various topics from the ROAH study.

Since the formal release of the ROAH data in July, ACRIA has received media attention from over 250 news outlets, including the New York Times, USA Today, Time Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, Kaisernet, NPR, and the BBC. As a result of the publication of the ROAH study, an estimated 94 million people have been exposed to the issue of the graying of HIV.

Regional Training Centers

ACRIA was honored to be selected by the AIDS Institute as one of its Regional Training Centers, offering trainings for service providers to HIV/AIDS service providers throughout New York City. Information about the courses offered, prerequisites, and schedule is on the opposite page.

Coming Soon

ACRIA -- thanks to its expertise in aging and HIV gained through ROAH and other research and to the education and training abilities of the HIV Health Literacy Program -- has been selected to provide technical support and oversight for the planned HIV and aging program at Gay Men's Health Crisis. The program is being underwritten by the M.A.C AIDS Fund.

Senior Research Associate Andrew Shippy has been invited to write an article on LGBT caregiving in older adults in New York City The article, entitled "We Cannot Go It Alone: The Impact of Informal Support and Stressors in Older Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Caregivers," will appear in a special issue of Gay and Lesbian Social Services.

ACRIA has been chosen to be part of a research survey on "Patient Preferences for Risk and Uncertainty in HIV Treatments." The purpose of this study of African-American men is to determine what levels of risk -- side effects, possible permanent organ damage, effectiveness -- affect the decision to begin or not to begin treatment and to engage in medical care. Individuals interested in participating or who want more information should contact Perion Smith at (212) 924-3934 x105.

ACRIA's clinical trials team expects to participate in an upcoming phase III trial of a promising antidiarrheal drug. This follows on earlier phase II studies of the drug that ACRIA had conducted and a presentation by Medical Director Jerome A. Ernst at an important biotechnology conference in London.

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