Division of General Internal Medicine

Dr. Oni Blackstock awarded CDC Grant to Improve HIV Prevention

Oni Blackstock
Oni Blackstock, MD, MHS

The CDC has awarded Oni Blackstock, MD, MHS, a primary care physician and Assistant Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine), a three-year Minority HIV/AIDS Research Initiative (MARI) grant to build upon her work developing and testing interventions to improve engagement in HIV treatment and prevention. 

The MARI program was established in 2003 to build capacity for HIV epidemiologic and prevention research in mostly Black and Hispanic/Latino communities and among Black and Hispanic/Latino investigators working in highly affected communities.

Dr. Blackstock's project will develop and pilot test a peer outreach and navigation intervention to increase HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) access and uptake among cisgender and transgender women at increased risk for HIV infection in East Harlem and the Bronx. PrEP is a daily HIV prevention pill. For this initiative, Montefiore-Einstein is partnering with New York Harm Reduction Educators (NYHRE), a community-based organization which uses a Peer model to link individuals who use drugs and/or involved in sex work to harm reduction services.

"I want to make sure that all women, especially, those from the most marginalized populations and with the greatest barriers to comprehensive HIV prevention services are aware of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and have access to it," said Dr. Blackstock. "I'm thrilled to be funded by MARI to determine whether peer outreach and navigation is an effective strategy for linking women at highest risk for HIV to PrEP care."

Dr. Blackstock presented her work at the June 1, 2017 Medicine Grand Rounds titled "Ending HIV: Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention. Click here to view the video.

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