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Rapid Response to Incident HIV Infection through Social Network Strategies and Molecular Epidemiology to Inform Partner Services, or RESPOND Carolinas, is a 5-year R01 research study that began in 2022 and is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The purpose of the study is to learn more about how people from gender and sexual minority groups engage in HIV care and prevention services in the Charlotte and Midlands regions of North and South Carolina. Compared to other regions of the United States, the South carries the greatest burden of HIV incidence and diagnoses.

Using mixed methods data gathered throughout the study’s timeline, this research aims to improve the local response to HIV infections by integrating Partner Services, social network recruitment, and HIV genetic cluster analysis. You can learn more about these topics and the research study by visiting the Social Network Strategies page and find out more about earlier research and evidence on social network strategies by visiting the Additional Resources page.

RESPOND Carolinas Overall Goals

  1. Assess how genetic sequence analysis added to standard surveillance impacts spatial and demographic features of HIV networks in high burden regions of North and South Carolina
  2. Identify barriers and facilitators to engagement in HIV services (prevention and/or care) for Black men who have sex with men and Black women who are transgender, and who are in HIV networks with recent transmission
  3. Evaluate an intensified Partner Services response using an enhanced social network strategy (eSNS) that leverages HIV genetic cluster analysis to characterize networks