California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center at UCLA/APLA

Co-PI: Arleen Leibowitz
University of California, Los Angeles

Co-PI: Philip Curtis
AIDS Project Los Angeles

Collaborative HIV/AIDS Policy Research Centers
Awarded: 2012

The California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center at UCLA/APLA, ("the Center") is a collaboration between the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA). The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center (LAGLC) and Charles Drew Medical Center will provide additional expertise. The Center also relies on the knowledge and advice of the Policy Research Advisory Committee (PRAC). UCLA researchers will take primary responsibility for conducting the research projects, while APLA and LAGLC will take the lead in interacting with the PRAC and synthesizing information from community partners and service providers as well as people living with HIV/AIDS. All partners will share responsibility for determining topics for research.

The over-arching goal of the UCLA/APLA Center is to bring the most relevant and timely evidence to bear on HIV/AIDS policy making in order to further California's efforts to develop and maintain efficient, cost-effective, and accessible programs and services to people with or at risk for HIV/AIDS. During a time of fiscal challenges at both the federal and state levels, the ability to analyze potential budgeting decisions and present evidence-based options and model possible outcomes is critical. The Center engages in two types of analytic activities: Rapid Response and Longer-term Policy Research.

Rapid Response activities identify, formulate and analyze emergent policy research questions. Goals include: identifying and prioritizing emerging HIV/AIDS policy issues for analysis; maintaining a data infrastructure to address emerging policy issues; and bringing existing, relevant research findings to the attention of policy makers and/or stimulating new research. Rapid Response will produce reports on pending policy issues within a two-week to six month time frame.

Longer-Term Research activities include conducting more complex analyses or modeling and evaluation of policy options. The underlying hypothesis is that the financing and organization of HIV/AIDS services impact the use and cost of services and the health outcomes for people with or at risk for HIV/AIDS. Projects will include: examining factors associated with access to care and cost of care; enhancing understanding of the factors associated with the quality of care; an examining how Medi-Cal's cost-saving measures (patient co-pays and reduced provider payments) will affect access, cost and quality of care over time; analyzing changes over time in the allocation of public resources for HIV treatment, prevention, and support; and analyzing how lowering Ryan White and ADAP funding would affect the health of undocumented Californians with HIV, the public cost of HIV care, and transmission of the virus.

To address both rapid response and longer-term issues, the Center brings together a multidisciplinary team with a strong record in both types of policy research. The team includes researchers with extensive experience in HIV/AIDS health policy research (Dr. Leibowitz, the Co-PI, Mr. Farrell, Dr. Zingmond, Dr. Brookmeyer, Ms. Desmond, Ms. Parker, Dr. Harawa, Dr. Rotheram, and Dr. Coates) and extensive community-based experience in the development and implementation of HIV/AIDS policy and service provision (Mr. Curtis, Co-PI, Mr. Thompson, and Mr. Fox).