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UMKC contributes to HIV/AIDS research

According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.2 million people across the globe living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During 2007 alone, some 2.5 million people became newly-infected with the virus. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and die from AIDS before they are 35.

A vast majority of people with HIV and AIDS live in lower- and middle-income countries. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.

Started on December 1, 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. The World AIDS Day theme for 2009 is 'Universal Access and Human Rights'. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done in the search for a cure.


UMKC studies span the disciplines

From basic science to community-based studies, UMKC researchers are involved in a wide variety of projects and programs dedicated to HIV/AIDS. Following are just a few of the studies currently being undertaken by UMKC faculty:

  • Maithe Enriquez, R.N., Ph.D., School of Nursing: Prof. Enriquez' current research projects include the development of an intervention program to enhance the health outcomes of Latinas living with HIV. Prof. Enriquez and colleagues have also been working on an intervention designed to enhance readiness for adherence to HIV treatment. An article about this was recently published in the journal "AIDS Patient Care."
  • Julie Wright, Pharm.D., School of Medicine: Prof. Wright is deeply involved in HIV/AIDS clinical research areas such as pharmacotherapy, adherence and prevention. She has led UMKC as one of six national sites for a Centers for Disease Control HIV-prevention demonstration project.
  • Anil Kumar, Ph.D., School of Pharmacy: Prof. Kumar is currently the principal investigator of four separate NIH-funded studies. A main focus of his research involves the physiological effects of drug and alcohol abuse in HIV-infected patients.
  • Carole McArthur, M.D., Ph.D., School of Dentistry: Prof. McArthur's research focuses on immunology and the pathology of HIV. Clinically, she has worked to establish AIDS screening programs in several African nations and currently serves as director of the US-Cameroon Health Program.
  • Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology Department: Prof. Berkley-Patton's current research focuses on the efficacy of HIV education, prevention and screening interventions in African-American churches.
  • Kathleen Goggin, Ph.D., College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology Department: Prof. Goggin is director of the Department of Psychology HIV/AIDS Research Group. She is the principal investigator of the MOTIV8 KC Adherence Project, an ongoing study designed to test the efficacy of interventions to improve patient success at adhering to the often difficult and complicated HIV medication regimens known as Antiretroviral Therapy.
  • Ann Marie Wood, Ph.D., College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology: Prof. Wood has conducted research to understand why older adults are often excluded from HIV/AIDS prevention policies at the national, state and community levels. Her research has found that prevention efforts for older adults are hindered by a lack of public awareness of AIDS rates, transmission routes and risk factors.


Be sure to check out the December issue of UMatters, UMKC's monthly e-magazine for faculty and staff, for a Q&A with UMKC psychology professor and AIDS researcher Kathleen Goggin. www.umkc.edu/umatters



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World AIDS Day at UMKC

In recognition of World AIDS Day, the UMKC Activity & Program Council will host a free screening of the movie "Philadelphia," starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. The movie begins at 7:30 pm on Dec. 1 in room 106 of the University Center.

Also that day, volunteers from the Kansas City Free Health Clinic will offer free AIDS/HIV screenings from 6 pm to 9 pm in the Chancellor's Dining Room at the University Center.