New Video Series Chronicles AIDS Epidemic in Tijuana

“HIV/SIDA: The Epidemic in Tijuana” focuses on UC San Diego researchers’ efforts to track and prevent the spread of HIV among the city’s most at-risk populations —

The new documentary “HIV/SIDA: The Epidemic in Tijuana” offers an unflinching look at the challenges facing researchers from the University of California, San Diego as they attempt to identify and treat people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender women and others who are at high risk for HIV infection in Tijuana. The program, which was shot over two years, premieres Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. on UCSD-TV and can be viewed at www.uctv.tv/hiv-sida. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


The film features the efforts of Dr. Steffanie Strathdee, her Division of Global Public Health colleagues and a multidisciplinary, multinational team of medical professionals to trace and arrest the spread of AIDS in Tijuana.

Dr. Strathdee is Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences, Harold Simon Professor and Chief of the Division of Global Public Health at UC San Diego.

The four-part documentary, based on the book Tomorrow Is a Long Time by Malcolm Linton and Jon Cohen, premiered on UCSD-TV on October 5. It was supported by funding from the Ford Foundation.

Find more about the documentary here: HIV/SIDA: The Epidemic in Tijuana – UCSD-TV – University of California Television.

Binational Police Program in Tijuana Targets HIV Reduction

Effort also aims to improve safety of officers —

Research consistently shows that policing practices, such as confiscating or breaking needles, are key factors in the HIV epidemic among persons who inject drugs. Police officers themselves are also at risk of acquiring HIV or viral hepatitis if they experience needle-stick injuries on the job — a significant source of anxiety and staff turn-over.

A binational team from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission, Mexico Section has launched a new research project aimed at promoting prevention of HIV and other blood-borne infections. The effort is led by Steffanie Strathdee, PhD, professor and director of the UC San Diego Global Health Initiative, Leo Beletsky, JD, MPH, associate professor, and Gudelia Rangel, PhD, deputy general director for migrant health and executive secretary of the Mexico Section of the Mexico-United States Border Health Commission, in partnership with the Tijuana Police Department and Police Academy. The binational team will offer and evaluate Proyecto ESCUDO (Project SHIELD), a police education program designed to align law enforcement and HIV prevention in Tijuana. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Global Public Health Division Video Wins 2nd Prize in Video Challenge Competition for UC Global Health Day

A video made by doctoral candidate Jaime Arredondo and other members of the Division of Global Public Health has won second prize in the Video Challenge Competition for UC Global Health Day.

The video, “The Forgotten: Clinica del Bordo,” takes viewers to the San Diego-Tijuana border, where Arredondo and many other members of the global public health division provide wound care, HIV testing and other basic health services to people who live in the Tijuana River Canal.

Canal Wound Clinic, or Clinica del Bordo, is an outreach effort of UC San Diego’s NIDA-funded Proyecto el Cuete IV program, Impact of Drug Policy Reform on the HIV Risk Environment Among IDUs in Tijuana.

“This brief video embodies our division’s philosophy of integrating research, training and service to improve the health of our border community,” said Division of Global Public Health chief Steffanie Strathdee, PhD.

“I am very proud that our work is upheld by our students, as they are our next generation of health providers and prevention scientists.”

Dr. Strathdee is Harold Simon Professor, Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences; Chief, Division of Global Public Health and Director of the UC San Diego Global Health Initiative.

Jaime Arredondo is an AIDS International Training and Research (AITRP) fellow.

The video is here:

Global Public Health Division’s Projects Highlighted During Chancellor’s Visit to Tijuana Clinic

University of California, San Diego, Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla’s visit to Tijuana, B.C., on May 3 included a stop at the Health Frontiers in Tijuana (HFiT) Clinic, a free clinic where students and faculty from the UC San Diego Division of Global Public Health team up with their counterparts from the Universidad Autónomo de Baja California (UABC) to provide health care in one of the poorest parts of Tijuana.

Chancellor Pradeep Khosla and Jose Luis Burgos.

Dr. Jose Luis Burgos with Chancellor Khosla outside HFiT Clinic. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

In the photo above, Chancellor Khosla speaks with Jose Luis Burgos, MD, MPH, outside the clinic. An assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Global Public Health, Burgos is a faculty mentor at the clinic and a specialist in global health and development. His current research project: The Role of Economic Evaluation in Translating HIV/AIDS Behavioral Interventions.

At the HFiT Clinic, faculty mentors from both UC San Diego and UABC direct the medical students, fellows and other medical trainees in caring for patients.  The clinic is now a part of MED 239, an elective course for medical students in the UCSD School of Medicine.

The students and faculty working in the clinic also contribute to global public health division projects investigating prevention of HIV and STD, substance abuse, policing practices and sex trafficking.  |  More about current projects

Dr. Steffanie Strathdee at work in the El Cuete program.

Dr. Steffanie Strathdee during a visit to Tijuana for the El Cuete program, a global public health division epidemiology project tracing HIV, tuberculosis and other infections among injection drug users.

During her presentation on the chancellor’s tour, global public health division chief Steffanie Strathdee said, “We align research, training and service. And we, the professors, learn as much from the students as they learn from us.”

Steffanie Strathdee, PhD, is associate dean of global health sciences, Harold Simon Professor and chief of the Division of Global Public Health and director of the Global Health Initiative at UC San Diego.

Strathdee’s current research projects: Impact of Drug Policy Reform on the HIV Risk Environment Among IDUs in Tijuana (El Cuete, Phase IV) and HIV/STI Risks among FSWs and Their Non-Commercial Partners (Proyecto Parejas).

Jay Silverman, PhD

Dr. Jay Silverman. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

At left below, global public health professor Dr. Jay Silverman speaks during a presentation about the division’s work in Tijuana.

Silverman is regarded as the world’s leading public health authority on trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation.

He is principal investigator of the first R01 research grant the National Institutes of Health has ever issued on sex trafficking. Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the four-year project is “Epidemiology of Sex Trafficking, Drug Use and HIV at the U.S.-Mexico Border.”

Drs. Kimberly Brouwer (below) and Victoria Ojeda also presented their projects during the tour.

Dr. Kimberly Brouwer

Dr. Kimberly Brouwer during her presentation in Tijuana. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

Brouwer is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Global Public Health. Her work focuses on the spatial and molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases.

She is principal investigator of two R01 research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one investigating factors that influence HIV transmission in the U.S. – Mexico border region: Evolving HIV/STI Risk Environments of FSWS on the Mexico/U.S. Border.

Victoria Ojeda (below) is an assistant professor in the global health division. Her project, “Social Incorporation Following Deportation and Implications for Health Status and Access to Care,” is based at the HFiT Clinic.

Dr. Victoria Ojeda

Dr. Victoria Ojeda.

Funding for the project comes from Ojeda’s 2012-2013 University of California Global Health Institute (GloCal) Health Fellowship, one of only three such fellowships awarded last year.

Below, Ojeda is pictured at the HFiT Clinic.

Dr. Victoria Ojeda.

Dr. Victoria Ojeda at the HFiT Clinic in Tijuana, where her GloCal Fellowship project is based.

 


Global public health division faculty with Pradeep Khosla, UC San Diego chancellor.

Chancellor Khosla with members of the Division of Global Public Health.

Sources

Chancellor Khosla’s visit to Tijuana was covered in Kristin Luciani’s UCSD News story, “Cross-Border Connections: Chancellor Visits Tijuana to Learn about Industry, Healthcare and Education,” released May 9. The photos for that story and the images of Drs. Burgos, Silverman and Brouwer and the group shown here are by Erik Jepsen of UC San Diego Publications.

For more information about the global public health division’s projects in the U.S. – Mexico border area and elsewhere in the world, visit the Division of Global Public Health academic website.

Dr. Victoria Ojeda Receives UCGHI Junior Faculty Fellowship Award

Dr. Victoria OjedaVictoria Ojeda, MPH, PhD, public health researcher and assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Global Public Health, has received a Junior Faculty Fellowship Program award for 2013-2014 from the University of California Global Health Institute (UCGHI).

The UCGHI Junior Faculty Fellowship Program, funded by a private donor, supports global health investigators in focused, multidisciplinary projects to develop their skills in investigation, training and leadership.

The award will support Ojeda’s ongoing work with deportees in Tijuana, Baja California, funding her project, “Tijuana Business Attitudes Toward Deportees and the Acceptability of an Employment Opportunities Program.”

Ojeda’s related Tijuana study, “Social incorporation following deportation and implications for health status and access to care,” is supported by a UCGHI GloCal Health Fellowship award she received in 2012. The GloCal Fellowship, a one-year mentored research fellowship, is a program of the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center and a UCGHI consortium.

Ojeda focuses her research on substance use, HIV/AIDS infection, and mental health co-morbidities in migrant populations, including injection drug users and female sex workers. Through a number of studies in Tijuana and elsewhere, she is examining how patterns of population movement, including migration and deportation, affect the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other blood-borne infections in the United States-Mexico border region.

Ojeda earned her MPH and PhD in Community Health Sciences at the School of Public Health at UCLA and completed a NIMH Post-doctoral fellowship in Mental Health Policy at the Department of Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School.

She is principal investigator of a five-year, NIDA-funded K01 career development project Mexican Female Migration, Substance Use, Sex work, and HIV Risks in Tijuana (Mujer Migrante). She is a research associate of the UCSD Center for Comparative Immigration Studies and a faculty member in the UCSD-SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Global Public Health.

More Information:

In the Spotlight: Global Public Health Division’s El Cuete and Mujer Mas Segura Projects

Dr. Steffanie Strathdee on El Cuete outreachAs the XIX International AIDS Conference met in Washington, DC, this month, Science highlighted the UC San Diego Division of Global Public Health’s El Cuete project and KPBS released a video and story about another of the division’s studies, Mujer Mas Segura.

Science magazine profiled the El Cuete project in a special issue, HIV/AIDS in America, released to coincide with the International AIDS Conference. Read “My Virus Is Your Virus” in Science

In the local media, KPBS interviewed Dr. Steffanie Strathdee (pictured at left above) and Dr. Jose Luis Burgos about the Changing HIV Risks in Female Sex Workers-Injection Drug Users on the Mexico-US Border study, known as Mujer Mas Segura.  Go to video story “UC San Diego Study Aims To Reduce The Risks In The Sex Trade”

Steffanie Strathdee, PhD, is Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences and Harold Simon Professor and Chief of the UC San Diego Division of Global Public Health. She directs the UC San Diego Global Health Initiative and is founding co-director of the UC Global Health Institute’s Center for Migration and Health.

Jose Luis Burgos, MD, MPH, is assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Global Public Health.

Related stories from UC San Diego and the University of California: