NIH Funding Opportunity for Drug Abuse Prevention Research Holds Potential for Addressing Viral Hepatitis
To reduce the incidence of viral hepatitis associated with drug use behaviors, the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis (Action Plan) calls for ensuring that individuals who inject drugs have access to viral hepatitis prevention, care, and treatment services as well as for advancing research to improve the prevention of viral hepatitis among persons who use drugs.Under this new FOA, NIDA – one of the federal partners in the Action Plan – seeks grant applications that identify and test population-level approaches for the prevention of: drug use and abuse; drug-related problems (such as mental health, interpersonal violence, criminal involvement, and productivity loss); and conditions where drug use or drug administration (e.g., injection) significantly contributes to risk, recurrence, or severity of other illnesses (e.g., bloodborne infections like HCV and other conditions, such as psychiatric disorders).
The FOA seeks proposals that may include studies of cognitive, behavioral, and social processes related to:
- Development of novel prevention approaches
- Efficacy and effectiveness of prevention interventions or programs
- Processes that optimize the selection, integration, implementation and sustainability of science-based prevention, including systems-level and health economic factors
- Methodologies appropriate for studying complex aspects of prevention science.
In February 2013 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP) convened a 2-day technical consultation of key experts and stakeholders to explore the emerging epidemic of HCV among young PWID. In the consultation reportExit Disclaimer, several barriers to addressing HCV in young PWID were identified, including:
- Asymptomatic disease and low utilization of healthcare by young injectors
- Challenges in accessing young nonurban injectors
- Lack of culturally appropriate drug treatment programming in nonurban areas
- Limited HCV treatment availability in nonurban areas
- Limited interest in drug or HCV treatment among young PWID
Through research into targeted prevention efforts, this FOA will provide opportunities to further our understanding of how best to prevent drug use and HCV infection among vulnerable populations. The open date for this FOA is May 5, 2015, with non-AIDS applications due June 5, 2015 and AIDS and AIDS-related applications due September 7, 2015.