Adherence 2019


Adherence 2019 was held on June 17-19, 2019, at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel in Miami, FL, USA. Sponsored by the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC).

This annual series of conferences featured the presentation and discussion of HIV treatment and biomedical prevention adherence research, and current behavioral and clinical perspectives in practicum, within the context of optimizing the continuum of HIV care and prevention. Adherence 2019 also featured an implementation science track focused on closing gaps between evidence and routine practice for health in real-world settings. The 2019 conference’s Co-Chairs were Catherine Orrell, MBChB, MSc, MMed and Robert H. Remien, PhD.

HIV Center members and affiliates poster and oral presentations included:

Poster Abstracts

  • Dr. Iván Balán, presented “Fostering Adherence and Open Communication through PrEP Biomarker Feedback”.

  • Dr. Alex Carballo-Diéguez, presented “Few Aggressive or Violent Incidents are Associated with the Use of HIV Self-Tests to Screen Sexual Partners among Key Populations”.

  • Dr. Justin Knox, presented “Assessing Psychosocial Determinants of PrEP Adherence in Black MSM and TGW in a Community Clinic in Harlem Using Two Measures”.

  • Dr. Christine Rael, presented “Feasibility and Relative Efficacy of Targeted Online Strategies for HIV Study Recruitment”.

Oral Abstracts

  • Michael Hager, M.P.H, presented “Closing Evidence-to-Practice Gaps: New Jersey's Collaborative Approach to Behavioral Health Integration in HIV Settings”.

  • Dr. Alissa Davis, presented “Longitudinal ART Adherence Trajectories and Sociodemographic and Psychosocial Predictors among ART Initiators in Cape Town, South Africa”

  • Dr. Sarit Golub, presented “PrEP Adherence Self-Efficacy Scale Predicts Uptake, Persistence, and Adherence over 12 Months”.

  • Dr. Nadia Nguyen, presented “Can Self-Reported Adherence Predict ART Adherence Assessed by an Electronic Monitoring Device (Wisepill) in Resource-Constrained Settings in Cape Town, South Africa?”

  • Dr. Jason Zucker, presented “Using Individualized Provider Feedback to Improve HIV Screening in a High-Volume Emergency Department”

Dr. Peter Anderson was featured on the panel, "Assessing Treatment Adherence: Is There Something Wrong with Your Measurement?"

Conference Co-Chairs Orrell and Remien each moderated panels, "Examining Option B-Plus: Is it the Panacea We Had Hoped For?" and "Accelerated Treatment: Perspectives on Same-Day ART Prescription," respectively.

Pictured, (clockwise from top left), are Drs. Orrell and Remien, Alissa Davis, Sarit Golub, Michael Hager, Jason Zucker, and Nadia Nguyen.

World AIDS Day 2018

World AIDS Day will be marking its 30th anniversary on December 1st 2018. This year’s theme will be “Know your status.”

Significant progress has been made in the AIDS response since 1988, and today three in four people living with HIV know their status.  That said, 1 in 4 do not know their status and thus, there is still much work to be done in reaching people living with HIV who do not know their status, ensuring that they are linked to quality care and prevention services.  HIV testing is the first step in the HIV Care Cascade and is essential for expanding treatment and ensuring that all people living with HIV can lead healthy and productive lives.


Tremendous advances have been made in HIV prevention and treatment since the discovery of the virus that causes AIDS and the early days of the epidemic.  HIV is no longer a “death sentence” and is now seen as a manageable chronic illness with the possibility of living a normal lifespan.  In addition, it is now known that it is highly unlikely – some would even say impossible – for a person living with HIV who is adherent to their treatment and maintains a suppressed HIV viral load to transmit the virus to sex partners and from mother-to-child during pregnancy and childbirth.  This, along with the success of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), gives us all high optimism for the potential of ending the HIV epidemic with successful wide-scale implementation of HIV prevention and treatment.

We know however, that we still face many challenges to successfully scaling up these biomedical advances due to economic, social and health disparities, particularly for the most vulnerable populations.  And unfortunately, stigma and discrimination still deters people from taking an HIV test, finding out their status, and accessing and adhering to effective antiretroviral therapy.

The HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies is dedicated to the development and implementation of innovative multidisciplinary research that will advance the knowledge and science of HIV prevention, treatment, and care, both domestically and globally. The Center provides the value-added infrastructure to ensure methodological and theoretical rigor, to identify and respond to new trends in the epidemic, to support critical partnerships across research and practice sectors, and to train new behavioral scientists.  

We join our friends and colleagues across the globe this World AIDS Day in raising awareness about the importance of knowing one’s status and calling for the removal of all barriers to accessing HIV testing, as well as ongoing care and treatment.  

Click HERE for a list of recent HIV Center publications.

-Robert Remien and HIV Center Leadership

In this video produced by the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Robert Remien, HIV Center Director, and Dr. Claude Ann Mellins, Co-Director, break down the state of HIV/AIDS in 2018, prevention and treatment advances, vulnerable populations, mental health, and optimism to help reduce sigma, raise hope, and improve physical and mental health outcomes.

Follow #RockTheRibbon and #WorldAIDSDay for more World AIDS Day media.



Join Columbia University’s ICAP for “Knowledge is Power: World AIDS Day at 30” featuring presentations, panel discussions, and a video premiere around the theme of “Know your status” – the official theme for World AIDS Day 2018.

December 4, 2018 - 1:30-3:00PM
Hess Commons, Allan Rosenfield Bldg
722 W. 168th St., New York, NY 10032

RSVP and add to calendar


Making it Happen, Getting it Done!

Join the third annual Ending the Epidemic (ETE) Summit hosted by the New York State Department of Health’s AIDS Institute.

December 4-5, 2018
Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Albany, NY.

Click HERE for more details and to register for the event.

Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award


HIV Center Co-director Gina Wingood, ScD, MPH, has been named the 2018 recipient of the Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award, along with Ralph DiClemente, PhD.

The Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award was created in 2009 by the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention (RCAP) to honor Ryan White and persons who have made significant, national, and/or international achievements in HIV/AIDS prevention.

Ryan White, a rural, Indiana youth, contracted HIV in 1984 and became a national poster boy on AIDS until his death in 1990, a few months prior to his intended enrollment at Indiana University, Bloomington. The award plaque given to each recipient reads "In appreciation for your outstanding contributions to HIV/AIDS prevention and for being an exemplary bearer of the standard of excellence and commitment needed to combat HIV/AIDS.

Congratulations, Gina!

HIV Center at the HIVR4P – Research for Prevention 2018 Conference


The HIV Center had a strong presence at the 2018 HIVR4P Conference in Madrid, Spain.

We are proud of the HIV Center members and collaborators who presented their scientific findings and participated in satellite sessions to share their expertise in line with this year’s theme “From Research to Impact”:

For more information about the conference and view the online program, click here. To view session recordings, click here.

HIV Center at the AIDS 2018 Conference

©International AIDS Society/Marten van Dijl.

©International AIDS Society/Marten van Dijl.

The HIV Center continues its commitment to disseminating research findings by having a strong presence at the 2018 International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

We are proud of the HIV Center members who presented their scientific findings and participated in satellite sessions in their areas of expertise:

Denis Nash recognized as Distinguish Professor

Denis Nash named Distinguished Professor by CUNY Board of Trustees


June 25th, 2018 - HIV Center member Dr. Denis Nash has been recognized by the CUNY Board of Trustees as Distinguished Professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.  Dr. Nash is widely recognized as an international leader in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Nash previously served as the Co-Director of our Public Health Policy and Practice core and now joins us as the Director of the Implementation Science and Health Outcomes Core. We are very proud and privileged to count on his support and expertise in the coming years.


Columbia iQ student group: HIV/AIDS Today

April 18th, 2018

Drs. Robert Remien and Bryan Kutner from the HIV Center were invited by the Columbia iQ* LGBTQ student group to the HIV/AIDS Today event as panel discussants. The event hosted conversations about the state of HIV/AIDS in New York City, including new and emerging scientific findings. Drs. Remien and Kutner joined Angela Aidala PhD (Associate Research Scientist in Sociomedical Sciences) and Daniel Chiarelli PhD (Associate Director of Columbia's Gay Health Advocacy Project) for a Q/A discussion about myths and facts, biomedical interventions (e.g., Treatment as Prevention and PrEP), Syndemics, Health Disparities, and the emergence of the “U=U” campaign (Undetectable = Untransmittable). 

"We were surprised by the level of knowledge among the students. Many had heard of PrEP and some of PEP, fewer had heard of U=U or some of the promising biomedical interventions under current or planned study, like injectable PrEP, rectal microbicides, and vaginal rings." 

The HIV Center is committed to collaborating with community members across NYC in order to communicate and share up-to-date findings in the HIV/AIDS prevention and intervention landscape. Dr. Kutner states “in-person outreach, responding to specific questions about the epidemic, continues to offer an opportunity to clarify misinformation.


*Columbia iQ is the affinity group of LGBTQ undergraduates which seeks to foster queer and trans leadership and community in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).  From discussions and panels to networking and employer site visits, iQ is committed to community-building, mentorship, and expanding the visibility of queer and trans individuals in STEM.

Robert Remien at CROI 2018

Bob CROI2018

March 27th 2018 - Dr. Robert H. Remien presented a plenary talk at the 25th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI2018) in Boston, MA., where he stressed the importance of addressing mental health to end the HIV epidemic and achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals. 

Treatment for mental disorders and adherence interventions has an additive effect to those with HIV, positively affecting HIV health outcomes like PrEp treatment, reducing depression and anxiety, and ultimately increasing quality of life. 

During his plenary, Dr. Remien described how mental health disorders can both biologically and behaviorally interfere with treatments for HIV. Furthermore, he discussed the challenges that are faced globally in diagnosing and receiving adequate mental health treatment to all of the people who need it, particularly in communities at risk for HIV. In an interview following his plenary, Dr. Remien explained how he “also drew attention to the optimal points in time – along our HIV prevention and treatment continua – for timely intervention – i.e., opportunities for intervening with mental health screening and provision of mental health care, that would improve patient well-being and overall health outcomes.”

Finally, Dr. Remien highlighted the range of successful evidence-based treatment approaches available and how their integration into the ongoing HIV medical care is essential.

Integration of services to screen and manage mental health and substance use disorders into HIV care settings is a promising strategy to improve mental health and HIV treatment outcomes among people living with HIV/AIDS, including in resource-constrained settings.

This year's conference marked the first time CROI chose to feature "Mental Health" in a prime plenary spot. 

Click here to watch his presentation "Addressing Mental Health: Crucial component to Ending the HIV epidemic" 

About Dr. Remien

Dr. Remien is the Director of the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, an inter-disciplinary research Center with a strong focus on mental/behavioral health and HIV prevention and care, the integration of biological and behavioral research, and implementation science. Dr. Remien is also Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at Columbia University and in the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Remien is also Associate Director of the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health, a faculty mentor for HIV Center Postdoctoral Fellows, and the Clinical Director of Behavioral Health for the Northeast Caribbean AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC). He was appointed and served on the Governor’s Ending the AIDS Epidemic (EtE) Task Force which developed a Blueprint to end the HIV Epidemic in NYS; and he currently serve on the NYS AIDS Advisory Council Committee providing guidance for implementation of the Blueprint, which includes specific recommendations for improving the provision of mental health services in NYS for populations vulnerable to HIV acquisition and for people living with HIV. The HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies (at NYSPI) has strong partnerships with both NYSDOH and NYCDOHMH, implementing and studying “Ending the Epidemic” (EtE) initiatives in NY State; and personnel from both NYC and NYS Health Departments serve as members (faculty) of the Science Cores of the HIV Center.

Columbia Psychiatry's piece on Dr. Remien's Plenary can be accessed here

Drs. Cuornos and Remien to speak about Mental Health and HIV

HIV Center Director, Dr. Robert Remien, and member, Dr. Francine Cuornos, will deliver a talk to the Physician's Research Network on the role of mental Health and HIV treatment and prevention. Dr. Remien's talk is titled "Confronting Mental Health Challenges in our effort to End the HIV Epidemic", and Dr. Cuorno's "Expanding Your Competency at the Boundary of Behavioral Health and HIV Medicine". 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
NYU Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, New York, NY
Doors open at 6:00 p.m. / Speakers begin at 7:00 p.m.

In Memoriam: Dr. Mathilde Krim

The HIV Center mourns the passing and remembers the life of HIV/AIDS research Pioneer, Dr. Mathilde Krim.

She was an inspirational and compassionate leader in the fight against AIDS and role model to many of us at the Center. Her legacy in the pursuit of civil rights, health and justice across the world will continue to be an inspiration to us all.

Dr. Krim's New York Times  Obituary  and NPR  article  on her life. 

Dr. Krim's New York Times Obituary and NPR article on her life. 

HIV Center joins the NY State AIDS Institute Expert Panel Discussion

Dr. Robert H. Remien joins the New York State Department of Heath's AIDS Institute's Expert panel discussion, titled "Untedectable = Untransmittable". Discussions took place about the clinical evidence of treatment as prevention, and programming implications of universal offer and treatment of HIV-positive individuals. 

Pictured left to right: Drs. Demetri Daskalakis, Michelle Cespedes, Roscoe Boyd,  Robert Remien , Katrina Balovlenkov, Kelsey Louie,  Don Des Jarlais , Johanne Morne, Bruce Richman and Gina Brown. (Photo by: Bruce Richman)

Pictured left to right: Drs. Demetri Daskalakis, Michelle Cespedes, Roscoe Boyd, Robert Remien, Katrina Balovlenkov, Kelsey Louie, Don Des Jarlais, Johanne Morne, Bruce Richman and Gina Brown. (Photo by: Bruce Richman)