Notice of Special Interest: Advancing Health Communication Research on HIV Prevention, Treatment and Cure
Notice Number:
NOT-MH-21-105

Key Dates

Release Date:

March 2, 2021

First Available Due Date:
April 08, 2021
Expiration Date:
May 08, 2024

Related Announcements

PA-20-144 - Innovations in HIV Prevention, Testing, Adherence and Retention to Optimize HIV Prevention and Care Continuum Outcomes (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)

PA-20-145 - Innovations in HIV Prevention, Testing, Adherence and Retention to Optimize HIV Prevention and Care Continuum Outcomes (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)

PA-20-141- Formative and Pilot Intervention Research for Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS (R34 Clinical Trial Optional)

PA-20-190 - Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (Parent K01 - Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

PA-20-176 - Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (Parent K01 - Independent Clinical Trial Required)

PA-20-202 - Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (Parent K08 Independent Clinical Trial Required)

PA-20-203 - Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (Parent K08 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

PA-20-206 - Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (Parent K23 Independent Clinical Trial Required)

PA-20-205 - Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (Parent K23 – Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

PA-20-200 - NIH Small Research Grant Program (Parent R03 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

PA-20-187 - NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00 Independent Clinical Trial Required)

PA-20-188 - NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00 - Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

PA-20-193 - Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (Parent K24 Independent Clinical Trial Required)

PA-20-186 - Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (Parent K24 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

PAR-18-714 - Academic Research Enhancement Award for Undergraduate-Focused Institutions (R15 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

PAR-19-133 - Academic Research Enhancement Award for Undergraduate-Focused Institutions (R15 – Clinical Trial Required)

PAR-19-134 - Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) for Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools (R15 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

PAR-19-135 - Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) for Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools (R15 Clinical Trial Required)

PAR-19-283 - Fogarty HIV Research Training Program for Low-and Middle-Income Country Institutions (D43 Clinical Trial Optional)

PA-21-050 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellowship for Students at Institutions Without NIH-Funded Institutional Predoctoral Dual-Degree Training Programs (Parent F30)

PA-21-051 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31)

PA-21-052 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Parent F31 -Diversity)

PA-21-048 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (Parent F32)

PA-20-142 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grant (Parent T32)

NOT-MH-21-255 - Notice of Correction to Key Dates of NOT-MH-21-105

Issued by

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Purpose

The National Institute of Mental Health is issuing this Notice to highlight interest in research applications to optimize health communication strategies that advance HIV prevention, treatment and cure.

Health communication science has made pivotal contributions to HIV prevention and treatment efforts. Early media campaigns that promoted condom use and HIV testing proved to be positive influences on knowledge, attitudes and social norms. Increased use of client-centered communication in HIV treatment settings, contributed to greater antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence and retention in care. Communication strategies that leveraged strengths-based messages about resilience, empowerment and “living with HIV”, helped dispel harmful stereotypes and stigmatizing messages that connoted HIV with a death sentence. A better understanding of how various communication channels influence HIV behavior change at the individual, interpersonal and community levels, as well as how effective health communication is deployed at each stage of the HIV care continuum, continue to be critical scientific competencies for advancing HIV prevention, treatment and cure efforts across the lifespan.

Health research is knowledge-driven and requires public health professionals to continuously learn, make informed decisions, and communicate clinical knowledge that is rapidly changing and evolving. Today there is a growing set of evidence-based tools for HIV prevention and treatment and more in the research pipeline. Innovative and strategic communication approaches are needed to bridge the gap between scientific discovery and public engagement. The benefits of proven HIV prevention methods like pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and the future promise of a safe and effective HIV vaccine can be maximized if integrated with effective communication approaches that prioritize the needs of those placed at highest risk. Knowledge translation and dissemination strategies that leverage sustainable and reciprocal partnerships between researchers, practitioners, people living with HIV (PLHIV), community members, policymakers, and other key stakeholders – are critical for ensuring that evidence-based, HIV-related health information is inclusive, accessible and able to be implemented.

The rapid growth of digital media has been revolutionary for health communication. New communication technologies enable global communities to connect about HIV in ways that might otherwise be impossible due to geography, lack of common language or other structural and/or social barriers. The advent of social media and widespread use of smartphones encourages real-time consumer health engagement through instantaneous message dissemination, social networking, and mobile health apps that address HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care. And while the ability to communicate electronically offers many health benefits, digital communication also presents the field with new challenges. In some instances, innovations in telemedicine have provided convenient alternatives to clinic visits for HIV care, while in other instances it has highlighted the importance of human contact for patient-provider rapport and protecting information privacy. A proliferation of internet and social media-based misinformation, poor-quality information, and siloed communication channels (e.g. echo chambers), has the potential to negatively impact mental health, decision-making, stoke medical distrust, and thwart current and future scientific advances in HIV. In addition, a growing reliance on health communication technologies has the potential to exacerbate existing health disparities among those with limited broadband access, poor digital literacy, or a lack of technology resources and infrastructure.

Optimizing health communication approaches in HIV care settings is also important for mental health. Cultivating acceptance, fostering collaborative decision-making and building trust between patients and providers fosters mental wellbeing of PLHIV and their caregivers. Ineffective patient-provider communication contributes to low levels of trust, dissatisfaction with healthcare systems and poor HIV-related outcomes. Past experiences of discrimination, intolerance and stigmatizing behaviors have led to patient reluctance to disclose sexual history and sexual orientation with providers. Low provider trust has also been shown to negatively influence HIV prevention screening, PrEP access and ART adherence. Contrarily, increased provider trust has been associated with greater access and willingness to take PrEP and greater willingness to participate in future HIV clinical trials. To improve clinical care outcomes, there remains a need to cultivate innovative approaches to care that integrate culturally sensitive, and client-driven communication strategies that prioritize respect between PLHIV, practitioners, and community members, and recognizes the integral need to strengthen patient-provider engagement.

To address knowledge gaps that will improve HIV outcomes, NIMH calls for research that will improve scientific understanding of health communication as it relates to ongoing HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure efforts, as well as research on communication, dissemination and implementation factors that are required for successful public understanding, acceptance and uptake of HIV-related interventions.

Areas of programmatic interest aimed at improving HIV-related outcomes include, but are not limited to:

HIV-Vaccine Related

  • Studies to understand key drivers for vaccine communication success, and how messages can best convey HIV vaccine importance, address vaccine hesitancy among those who may benefit, and convey public health impact
  • Studies to engage diverse racial and ethnic communities in public ownership, health equity, community engagement and confidence in HIV vaccine uptake
  • Studies that support communication strategies that address HIV vaccine distribution decisions, and social and structural barriers to access
  • Studies that design methods to understand the impact and reach of HIV vaccine misinformation both on and offline and to develop tools and approaches to combat poorly delivered communications
  • Studies that develop tools to evaluate and design messages to effectively address HIV vaccination risk, safety, and trust
  • Studies that encourage partnerships and collaborations that support interdisciplinary research, and sustainable learning structures for HIV vaccine-communication science

Non-vaccine HIV Prevention

  • Studies to advance the reach and effectiveness of social media campaigns, as well as other forms of health communication, for HIV prevention outcomes such as HIV testing, PrEP, or other HIV prevention tools
  • Studies to advance communications on new HIV prevention tools to key populations placed at high risk for HIV
  • Studies to better understand, map and leverage community-based social networks and communication channels for greater promotion of HIV prevention approaches

HIV Treatment and Care

  • Studies to optimize effective communication and engagement practices between PLHIV and healthcare providers, health systems, and other formal and informal care networks, in order to cultivate greater trust, support, and respect in care settings and improve HIV care outcomes; accounting for differences in age, race, ethnicity, gender, disability status, sexual and gender-minority status, geography and life course perspective
  • Studies to develop effective, evidence-based, and client-centered interventions aimed at overcoming barriers to successful treatment and linkage to care
  • Studies that examine telehealth and digital communication approaches for health delivery to ensure continuity and retention in care

HIV Cure

  • Studies that use communication science to optimize HIV cure research terminology (e.g., HIV cure; viral eradication; sustained ART-free HIV remission, etc.) for improved understanding
  • Studies that use communication science to improve informed consent processes, decision-making and understanding of risks and benefits in HIV cure research

Cross Cutting Themes

  • Digital Technologies
    • Studies to develop and improve digital technologies to raise HIV awareness, support social interaction and learning, maximize community reach and engagement, reduce HIV-information disparities, and promote accurate and timely health information to users, groups, and geographic regions most impacted by HIV
    • Studies that examine pre-existing social media platforms across contexts, and investigate how online norms and behaviors impact HIV-related behaviors and generate HIV awareness, as well as enhance patient care and efficiency
    • Studies that leverage implementation science to optimize adoption and integration of evidence-based communication approaches
  • Health Disparities
    • Studies that use communication science approaches to reduce the impact of misinformation or poorly delivered communication and its contribution to medical mistrust, stigma, racism, sexism, xenophobia and other negative attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that impede positive mental health and HIV outcomes
    • Studies that examine environmental and structural limitations on health communication in marginalized communities, based on domestic and global geographic regions and settings where HIV prevalence and incidence is highest
    • Studies that use communication tools to apply strengths-based approaches and community engagement frameworks that emphasize resilience, empowerment and offer positive reflections of PLHIV and impacted communities
  • Knowledge Management and Learning
    • Research that maximizes communication through partnerships, coordination and team science to expand information reach and inform decision-making for HIV health providers and PLHIV
    • Studies that leverage translational research methods and communication approaches to bridge the gap between knowledge, practice. ethics and policy in HIV

It is strongly recommended that applicants review the NIMH Division of AIDS Research current Funding Opportunity Announcements (available on our website at https://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/organization/dar/aids-related-funding-opportunity-announcements-foas.shtml), and consult with the relevant Scientific/Program Officer before application submission.

Application and Submission Information

This notice applies to due dates on or after April 8, 2021 and subsequent receipt dates through May 8, 2024.

Submit applications for this initiative using one of the following funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) or any reissues of these announcements through the expiration date of this notice.

  • PA-20-144 - Innovations in HIV Prevention, Testing, Adherence and Retention to Optimize HIV Prevention and Care Continuum Outcomes (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)
  • PA-20-145 - Innovations in HIV Prevention, Testing, Adherence and Retention to Optimize HIV Prevention and Care Continuum Outcomes (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)
  • PA-20-141 - Formative and Pilot Intervention Research for Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS (R34 Clinical Trial Optional)
  • PA-19-190 - Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (Parent K01 - Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PA-20-176 - Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (Parent K01 - Independent Clinical Trial Required)
  • PA-20-202 - Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (Parent K08 Independent Clinical Trial Required)
  • PA-20-203 - Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (Parent K08 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PA-20-206 - Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (Parent K23 Independent Clinical Trial Required)
  • PA-20-205 - Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (Parent K23 – Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PA-20-200 - NIH Small Research Grant Program (Parent R03 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PA-20-187 - NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00 Independent Clinical Trial Required)
  • PA-20-188 - NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00 - Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PA-20-193 - Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (Parent K24 Independent Clinical Trial Required)
  • PA-20-186 - Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (Parent K24 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PAR-18-714 - Academic Research Enhancement Award for Undergraduate-Focused Institutions (R15 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PAR-19-133 - Academic Research Enhancement Award for Undergraduate-Focused Institutions (R15 – Clinical Trial Required)
  • PAR-19-134 - Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) for Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools (R15 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PAR-19-135 - Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) for Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools (R15 Clinical Trial Required)
  • PAR-19-283 - Fogarty HIV Research Training Program for Low-and Middle-Income Country Institutions (D43 Clinical Trial Optional)
  • PA-21-050 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellowship for Students at Institutions Without NIH-Funded Institutional Predoctoral Dual-Degree Training Programs (Parent F30)
  • PA-21-051 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31)
  • PA-21-052 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Parent F31 -Diversity)
  • PA-21-048 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (Parent F32)
  • PA-20-142 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grant (Parent T32)

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the funding opportunity announcement used for submission must be followed, with the following additions:

  • For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-MH-21-105” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in box 4B will not be considered for this initiative.

Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will not be considered for the NOSI initiative.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to the Scientific/Research, Peer Review, and Financial/Grants Management contacts in Section VII of the listed funding opportunity announcements.

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Collene Lawhorn, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Telephone: 301-828-7186

Email: collene.lawhorn@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Examine your eRA Commons account for review assignment and contact information (information appears two weeks after the submission due date).

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Rita Sisco
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Telephone: 301-443-2805

Email: siscor@mail.nih.gov


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NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices