Research

In addition to providing high-quality, culturally competent healthcare and supportive services targeted to LGBTQ communities and people living with HIV/AIDS, Callen-Lorde also serves as a center of excellence – helping to train the future leaders in LGBT health while blazing new trails through research and other strategic partnerships.

Current Studies:

Past Studies:

Callen-Lorde also supports the following projects as a collaborating partner:

Interested in participating or collaborating? Fill out these online forms:


Current Studies


LITE Plus

Leading Innovation for Transgender Women’s Health and Empowerment Plus (LITE Plus) focuses on the impacts of stigma and stress on health for Black and Latina transgender women. The study involves 5 study visits over 2 years and has 4 parts: a survey, blood draw, and physical measurements (like height and weight). Some participants will also be eligible for saliva (spit) collection at home, to help the study team measure stress levels. Participants will be compensated for each study visit and can make up to $450 if you are eligible for, and complete, all study activities.

This project is a partnership between University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, Fenway Health, Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, and Whitman Walker Health.

For information, call the STUDY LINE 212-271-7242 or by viewing the study website.

Research reported for LITE Plus was funded by a grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHHD) Award (R01MD013498).



TURNNT

Trying to Understand Relationships, Networks and Neighborhoods in Trans women of color (TURNNT) aims to better understand the challenges and the factors that affect trans women of color in order to better serve the needs of the community, specifically, used to help develop and improve health care, policy, and planning to support healthy living for trans women of color. Participants of TURNNT will be asked to provide data for a one-year period. Starting in 2019, TURNNT will recruit 300 transgender women of color in New York City to take part. Participants will be asked to share information about:

  • relationships, networks and neighborhoods
  • health and general life

This project is a partnership between Columbia University’s Spatial Epidemiology Lab, Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and Callen-Lorde Community Health Center.

For information, please use the contact form on the study website.

Research reported for TURNTT was funded by a grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHHD) Awards (1R01MD013554, 3R01MD013554-04S1).

Select publications from this study so far:

  • Goedel, W. C., Regan, S. D., Chaix, B., Radix, A., Reisner, S. L., Janssen, A. C., & Duncan, D. T. (2019). Using global positioning system methods to explore mobility patterns and exposure to high HIV prevalence neighbourhoods among transgender women in New York. Geospatial health, 14(2), 10.4081/gh.2019.752. https://doi.org/10.4081/gh.2019.752
  • Callander, D., Schneider, J. A., Radix, A., Chaix, B., Scheinmann, R., Love, G., Smith, J., Regan, S. D., Kawachi, I., St James, K., Ransome, Y., Herrera, C., Reisner, S. L., Doroshow, C., Poteat, T., Watson, K., Bluebond-Langner, R., Toussaint, N., Garofalo, R., Sevelius, J., … Duncan, D. T. (2020). Longitudinal cohort of HIV-negative transgender women of colour in New York City: protocol for the TURNNT (‘Trying to Understand Relationships, Networks and Neighbourhoods among Transgender women of colour’) study. BMJ open, 10(4), e032876. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032876
  • Harry-Hernandez, S., Reisner, S. L., Schrimshaw, E. W., Radix, A., Mallick, R., Callander, D., Suarez, L., Dubin, S., Khan, A., & Duncan, D. T. (2020). Gender Dysphoria, Mental Health, and Poor Sleep Health Among Transgender and Gender Nonbinary Individuals: A Qualitative Study in New York City. Transgender health, 5(1), 59–68. https://doi.org/10.1089/trgh.2019.0007.


mCHOICE

Research reported for mChoice was funded by a grant from the National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STDs and TB Prevention (NCHVHSTP) Award (1U01PS005229).

mChoice is an application-based clinical intervention, hoping to help shape trainings tailored to providers, understand the clinical opportunities for implementation, determine effectiveness of the app intervention, and review behaviors associated with PrEP screening, counseling initiation, adherence and persistence. The mChoice app involves multiple components aimed at meeting the needs of Black and Latino young men who have sex with men, including:

  • Video and testimonials of Black and Latino YMSM taking PrEP.
  • Two-way communication between participants and study staff.
  • Customized reminder messages.
  • Oral PrEP use only: Monitor medication adherence using a CleverCap Electronic Monitoring Pill Bottle.

This study collaboration with Columbia University School of Nursing. At this time, enrollment for this study is currently pending.



MyPEEPS for Transgender Men

Research reported for MyPEEPS for Transgender Men was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Award (1R34MH128163).

MyPEEPS (MaleYouthPursuingEmpowerment,Education andPrevention aroundSexuality) is a smartphone app created to empower young guys who like other guys to make safe, educated decisions about their sexual health. This version of MyPEEPS hopes to meet the needs of young transmasculine individuals who are attracted to cisgender guys. MyPEEPS is a collaboration between Columbia University, University of Washington, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Birmingham AIDS Outreach, University of Alabama and Callen-Lorde Community Health Center.

Currently, enrollment for this study is currently pending.



LEGACY Project

Callen-Lorde Community Health Center and Fenway Health have launched a multi-site study — which is being led, designed, and run by transgender and non-binary people —to examine how medical gender affirmation impacts quality of life, mental health outcomes, and HIV-related outcomes among 4,500 transgender and non-binary adult patients from Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in New York City and Fenway Health in Boston, Massachusetts.

The LEGACY Project will be integrated with medical care at Callen-Lorde and Fenway. De-identified data for this study will be collected from patients’ electronic medical records. Additionally, patients will be asked to complete three surveys over the course of one year to help supplement this information.

If you have any questions about the study, please contact LEGACY@callen-lorde.org. Please note, the LEGACY Project is no longer enrolling new participants.

Research reported in this article was funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Award (AD-2017C1-6569). The statements in this article are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), its Board of Governors or Methodology Committee.

Select publications from this study so far:

Reisner, S. L., Deutsch, M. B., Mayer, K. H., Potter, J., Gonzalez, A., Keuroghlian, A. S., Hughto, J. M., Campbell, J., Asquith, A., Pardee, D. J., Pletta, D. R., & Radix, A. (2021). Longitudinal Cohort Study of Gender Affirmation and HIV-Related Health in Transgender and Gender Diverse Adults: The LEGACY Project Protocol. JMIR research protocols, 10(3), e24198. https://doi.org/10.2196/24198

Asquith, A., Sava, L., Harris, A. B., Radix, A. E., Pardee, D. J., & Reisner, S. L. (2021). Patient-centered practices for engaging transgender and gender diverse patients in clinical research studies. BMC medical research methodology, 21(1), 202. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12874-021-01328-4



LITE

Leading Innovation for Transgender Women’s Health and Empowerment (LITE) is the first cohort study of transgender women and transfeminine people in the US. This project is an exciting new NIH-supported research study that enrolled 1,100 transgender women across five US cities (Boston, New York, Baltimore-Washington DC, Atlanta and Miami) beginning in early 2018.

The study focuses on sexual health and HIV in order to learn about engagement in HIV prevention and treatment; however, we will also be collecting data on a wide range of topics in efforts to improve the health and wellness of these populations over time. This project is a partnership between Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, Fenway Health, Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, University of Miami, Emory University and Grady Memorial Hospital, and Whitman Walker Health.

For information, call the STUDY LINE 212-271-7242. Please note, the LITE Study is no longer enrolling new participants.

Research reported for LITE was funded by a grant from the National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Disease Award (1UG3AI133669).

Select publications from this study so far:

Malone, J., Reisner, S. L., Cooney, E. E., Poteat, T., Cannon, C. M., Schneider, J. S., Radix, A., Mayer, K. H., Haw, J. S., Althoff, K. N., Wawrzyniak, A. J., Beyrer, C., Wirtz, A. L., & American Cohort to Study HIV Acquisition Among Transgender Women (LITE) Study Group (2021). Perceived HIV Acquisition Risk and Low Uptake of PrEP Among a Cohort of Transgender Women With PrEP Indication in the Eastern and Southern United States. Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999), 88(1), 10–18. https://doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0000000000002726.

Wirtz, A. L., Cooney, E. E., Stevenson, M., Radix, A., Poteat, T., Wawrzyniak, A. J., Cannon, C. M., Schneider, J. S., Haw, J. S., Case, J., Althoff, K. N., Humes, E., Mayer, K. H., Beyrer, C., Rodriguez, A. E., Reisner, S. L., & American Cohort To Study HIV Acquisition Among Transgender Women (LITE) Study Group (2021). Digital Epidemiologic Research on Multilevel Risks for HIV Acquisition and Other Health Outcomes Among Transgender Women in Eastern and Southern United States: Protocol for an Online Cohort. JMIR research protocols, 10(4), e29152. https://doi.org/10.2196/29152.



We Count Collaborative

The We Count Collaborative brings together data on more than 45,000 LGBTQ patients from front-line healthcare providers in a nationwide research and data-sharing project to protect the health of LGBTQ communities.

The We Count Collaborative is made up of five Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), including the Whitman-Walker Institute, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, CrescentCare, Howard Brown Health, Los Angeles LGBT Center.

Together with the Stanford Medicine-based The PRIDE Study with a collaborating site at the University of California, San Francisco– these organizations are bridging the gap in knowledge about COVID-19 health experiences, including rates of infection and outcomes, for LGBTQ people. Findings will inform best practices and policy recommendations to support positive health outcomes for LBGTQ people impacted by COVID-19.

Collaboration reported for We Count Collaborative was funded by a grant from the National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Disease Award (1UG3AI133669).



‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ Convening

The landscape of patient centered outcomes research focused on LGBTQIA+ individuals has been historically limited by: a focus on pathology (specifically HIV, psychiatric diagnosis, and trauma); a “top-down” model, wherein research priorities are identified by funders or researchers, rather than the community; and a dearth of representation in scientific circles of LGBTQIA+ individuals. At the same time, a number of community health centers (CHCs) have been founded across the country, specifically to serve and respond to the needs of LGBTQIA+ individuals. These CHCs have a wealth of knowledge and experience about the PCOR/CER interests and concerns of their patient population and are considered trusted allies and resources for their patients and other community stakeholders. This convening will develop a partnership among LGBTQIA+ health leaders and a shared agenda and set of priorities for PCOR/CER that is relevant, responsive, and useful to these organizations and their patients. The primary objective of this convening is to develop a stakeholder-driven, multi-pronged agenda for PCOR/CER to advance health equity goals for LGBTQIA+ communities. This convening is the first step in a larger strategic planning process designed to identify:

  • Research priorities that are shared among stakeholder groups
  • Strategies for building research capacity within each CHC
  • Strategies for increasing training opportunities and representation of LGBTQIA+ individuals in all aspects of the research process
  • Opportunities for cross-center collaboration on a coordinated PCOR/CER agenda

Collaboration reported for ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ Convening was funded by a grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Engagement Award (EACC#18813). Convening website is located here.



THE PRIDE STUDY

The PRIDE Study is the first large-scale, long-term health study of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), or another sexual or gender minority.

By participating in The PRIDE Study over time, your unique story teaches us about the health and well-being of LGBTQ people like you. Make your voice heard!

Join at pridestudy.org or call 855.421.9991

Collaboration reported for the PRIDE Study was funded by a grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Engagement Award (Pending). 


Past Studies

MyPEEPS

MyPEEPS (Male Youth Pursuing Empowerment, Education and Prevention around Sexuality) is a smartphone app created to empower young guys who like other guys to make safe, educated decisions about their sexual health. MyPEEPS is a collaboration between Columbia University, University of Washington, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Birmingham AIDS Outreach, University of Alabama and Callen-Lorde Community Health Center.

People who used the app completed activities and games to learn about HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), safe sex, effective communication in relationships, and much more. Participants were enrolled for up to a year, completing compensated surveys every 3 months.

Research reported for MyPEEPS was funded by a grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHHD) Award (5U01MD011279-05).

Select publications from this study:

  • Schnall, R., Kuhns, L., Hidalgo, M., Hirshfield, S., Pearson, C., Radix, A., Belkind, U., Bruce, J., Batey, D. S., & Garofalo, R. (2018). Development of MyPEEPS Mobile: A Behavioral Health Intervention for Young Men. Studies in health technology and informatics, 250, 31.
    Schnall, R., Kuhns, L. M., Hidalgo, M. A., Powell, D., Thai, J., Hirshfield, S., Pearson, C., Ignacio, M., Bruce, J., Batey, D. S., Radix, A., Belkind, U., & Garofalo, R. (2018). Adaptation of a Group-Based HIV RISK Reduction Intervention to a Mobile App for Young Sexual Minority Men. AIDS education and prevention : official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education, 30(6), 449–462. https://doi.org/10.1521/aeap.2018.30.6.449.
  • Ignacio, M., Garofalo, R., Pearson, C., Kuhns, L. M., Bruce, J., Scott Batey, D., Radix, A., Belkind, U., Hidalgo, M. A., Hirshfield, S., & Schnall, R. (2019). Pilot feasibility trial of the MyPEEPS mobile app to reduce sexual risk among young men in 4 cities. JAMIA open, 2(2), 272–279. https://doi.org/10.1093/jamiaopen/ooz008
  • Kuhns, L. M., Garofalo, R., Hidalgo, M., Hirshfield, S., Pearson, C., Bruce, J., Batey, D. S., Radix, A., Belkind, U., Jia, H., & Schnall, R. (2020). A randomized controlled efficacy trial of an mHealth HIV prevention intervention for sexual minority young men: MyPEEPS mobile study protocol. BMC public health, 20(1), 65. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-8180-4.
  • Schnall, R., Kuhns, L., Pearson, C., Bruce, J., Batey, D. S., Radix, A., Belkind, U., Hidalgo, M. A., Hirshfield, S., Ganzhorn, S., & Garofalo, R. (2020). Preliminary Results from a Pragmatic Clinical Trial of MyPEEPS Mobile to Improve HIV Prevention Behaviors in Young Men. Studies in health technology and informatics, 270, 1365–1366. https://doi.org/10.3233/SHTI200444.
  • Gordián-Arroyo, A., Garofalo, R., Kuhns, L. M., Pearson, C., Bruce, J., Batey, D. S., Radix, A., Belkind, U., Hidalgo, M. A., Hirshfield, S., Schrimshaw, E. W., & Schnall, R. (2020). Awareness, Willingness, and Perceived Efficacy of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis among Adolescent Sexual Minority Males. Journal of urban health : bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 97(5), 749–757. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-020-00447-5.
  • Cordoba, E., Idnay, B., Garofalo, R., Kuhns, L. M., Pearson, C., Bruce, J., Batey, D. S., Radix, A., Belkind, U., Hidalgo, M. A., Hirshfield, S., Rodriguez, R. G., & Schnall, R. (2021). Examining the Information Systems Success (ISS) of a mobile sexual health app (MyPEEPS Mobile) from the perspective of very young men who have sex with men (YMSM). International journal of medical informatics, 153, 104529. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2021.104529.


FIRED UP

FIRED UP (Furthering Investigation into Retention, Engagement, and Dynamics of PrEP Utilization) was a study collaboration between Hunter College (Hunter Alliance for Research & Translation) and Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, hoping to better is to understand how transgender women and non-binary transfeminine individuals decide:

  • whether or not to take PrEP;
  • what makes it easy or hard for women on PrEP to take the medication;
  • and whether levels of PrEP medication differ for women who are taking feminizing hormones (i.e., estrogen) and those who are not.

The study comprised of two parts: a review of retrospective electronic health data, (comparing 160 patients on PrEP with 160 patients never on PrEP matched by demographics), and a prospective cohort of 150 transgender women and non-binary transfeminine patients at Callen-Lorde, with 100 currently taking PrEP, 50 who have never taken PrEP (and were HIV- at time of enrollment). Over the course of 6 months, FIRED UP participants filled out surveys every 3 months, and the PrEP cohort also gave urine and blood samples to test for levels of tenofovir and estrogen at the 3 month and 6 month surveys.

Research reported for FIRED UP was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Award (1R21MH116757-01).

Select publications from this study:

  • Starbuck, L., Golub, S. A., Klein, A., Harris, AB., Guerra, A., Rincon, C., & Radix, A. E. (2022). Transgender Women and PrEP Care: High PrEP Adherence in a Real-World Health Care Setting in New York City. Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999), 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002915. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0000000000002915.


SPARK

SPARK (Furthering Investigation into Retention, Engagement, and Dynamics of PrEP Utilization) was a study collaboration between Hunter College (Hunter Alliance for Research & Translation), City University of New York Graduate Center, and Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, that utilized a prospective, longitudinal, open-label cohort study assessing PrEP delivery in a LGBTQ community health center environment. Participants were 300 patients of the health center (18-63; 49% White) who met PrEP eligibility criteria and decided to start PrEP.

SPARK participants were followed for 12-months and tested quarterly for STIs (urethral/rectal gonorrhea/chlamydia and syphilis). Data were also collected on participants presenting to the health center between study visits for STI testing. STI diagnosis at each time point is inclusive of positive results at interim visits. Chart review was conducted to assess STI diagnoses in the 6 months prior to starting PrEP and at the PrEP prescription visit. We examined baseline demographic, behavioral, and psychosocial predictors of any STI diagnosis over the 12-month follow-up, as well as change scores (e.g., changes in condom use and number of partners). Analyses were restricted to the 261 participants (87%) who were retained at 12-months.

Research reported for SPARK was funded by a grant from the National Institute of National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Award (R01AA022067).

Select publications from this study:

  • Golub, S. A., Fikslin, R. A., Goldberg, M. H., Peña, S. M., & Radix, A. (2019). Predictors of PrEP Uptake Among Patients with Equivalent Access. AIDS and behavior, 23(7), 1917–1924. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-018-2376-y.