Duke School of Nursing in Spotlight on World AIDS Day 2021
This World AIDS Day, leaders at Duke University School of Nursing are in the spotlight—from an invitation from President Joe Biden to Dean Vincent Guilamo-Ramos to participate in a White House event commemorating World AIDS Day—to participation by Associate Dean Michael Relf in a ceremonial ringing of the closing Nasdaq bell at Times Square.
This World AIDS Day, leaders at Duke University School of Nursing are in the spotlight — from an invitation from President Joe Biden to Dean Vincent Guilamo-Ramos to participate in a White House event commemorating World AIDS Day to participation by Associate Dean Michael Relf in a ceremonial ringing of the closing Nasdaq bell at Times Square.
Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, PhD, MPH, LCSW, RN, ANP-BC, PMHNP-BC, AAHIVS, FAAN, dean, Duke School of Nursing, and vice chancellor for nursing affairs, Duke University, and Michael V. Relf, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, AACRN, ANEF, CNE, FAAN, associate dean for global and community health affairs and associate professor, participated in these programs in recognition of their contributions in the 40-year battle against HIV/AIDS.
At the official White House event Ramos is attending on December 1, the Biden-Harris Administration is unveiling the updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy 2022-2025 and Plan to End the HIV epidemic by 2030 in the U.S. and Territories. A recording of Biden’s presentation is available on YouTube and begins around the 17-minute mark.
“It’s an honor to join President Biden and his Administration in commemorating World AIDS Day,” said Ramos, who is also a member of the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). “We have a lot to be proud of in the work accomplished to date in the HIV/AIDS epidemic, but important work to do as part of its unfinished business — including addressing social determinants that contribute to the health outcomes of those diagnosed and living with HIV/AIDS. I am proud to be a part of a network of nurse leaders, educators, researchers and practitioners who are committed to ending this epidemic by 2030.”
On November 30, both Ramos and Relf participated in high-profile activities also commemorating World AIDS Day. Relf, who is editor in chief of “Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care” (JANAC), participated in the Nasdaq closing bell ringing ceremony at 4 p.m., which was also broadcast to Times Square. This ceremony is considered an iconic moment awarded to companies in order to celebrate the company’s achievements on a global platform. The ceremonial bell ringing followed a panel discussion at Nasdaq MarketSite, organized by OraSure Technologies, a global company that improves health and wellness through diagnostic tools and which is widely recognized for first-to-market rapid diagnostics for HIV.
Ramos was one of five HIV/AIDS experts and leaders participating in the panel. Others included Stephen Lee, executive director of the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors; Ingrid Floyd, executive director at Iris House and WORLD; and Marc Meachem, head of external affairs at ViiV Healthcare and Duke University alumnus, with opening recorded remarks by Harold Phillips, director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, as part of the President’s Domestic Policy Council. A recording of the event is available on YouTube.
Relf joined the panelists for the bell ringing ceremony on behalf of the Duke School of Nursing. The livestream of the ceremony is available online and starts around the 20-minute mark.
HIV/AIDS Research, Practice and Education at Duke University School of Nursing
In October 2021, the School of Nursing hosted Harold Phillips for a discussion on the National HIV Strategic Plan, which creates better access to services through identification of the need for more school-based health centers, school nurses, advanced practice providers, and behavioral health specialists. The event featured Duke nursing faculty members and resulted in a set of policy recommendations focused on the crucial role of nurses in expanding HIV prevention and treatment.
Duke University School of Nursing is the only nursing school in the U.S. South to be actively enrolling students in an HIV specialty program for nurse practitioners. The program, led by Kara McGee, DMS, MSPH, PA-C, AAHIVS, associate professor, notes that the program helps to fill a need for HIV health providers, and she underscores the important role nurses have in improving health outcomes and counteracting stigma among people living with HIV.
Across the school, faculty, students, and staff are engaged in work that underscores the important role that nurses have in improving health outcomes and counteracting stigma among people living with HIV.
Faculty conducting vital research related to HIV/AIDS include:
- Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, PhD, MPH, LCSW, RN, ANP-BC, PMHNP-BC, AAHIVS, FAAN, dean, Duke School of Nursing, and vice chancellor for nursing affairs, Duke University, whose research focuses on Latino adolescent sexual reproductive health policy, practice, and science; reduction of stigma of youth and young people living with HIV/AIDS; and the role of nurses in ending the HIV epidemic.
- Ragan Johnson, DNP, MS, APRN-BC, associate professor, whose research focuses on awareness of PrEP in Black women in the southern U.S.
- Brandon Knettel, PhD, assistant professor, whose research focuses on the relationship between HIV and opioid use disorder and on developing video-assisted counseling interventions for suicide prevention among people living with HIV in Tanzania.
- Kara McGee, DMS, MSPH, PA-C, AAHIVS, associate professor and lead faculty for HIV Specialty, who is focusing on parallels between how individuals from Communities of Color have been affected by COVID-19 more acutely than white individuals as is with the HIV epidemic.
- Marta Mulawa, PhD, MHS, assistant professor, whose research focuses on developing and testing mobile health (mHealth) interventions to support adolescents with HIV in South Africa and examines the extent to which social networks influence various HIV-related behaviors and outcomes.
- Schenita D. Randolph, PhD, MPH, RN, CNE, associate professor, whose research focuses on challenges faced by cisgender women in the HIV status-neutral care continuum, and on Black male adolescents and young adults and their parents, using a syndemic approach to address HIV risk transmission and experiences of racial discrimination.
- Michael V. Relf, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, AACRN, ANEF, CNE, FAAN, associate dean for global and community health affairs and associate professor, who is focusing on expanding nursing science’s role throughout the epidemic and looks at the psychosocial aspects of HIV using mixed-methods particularly focusing on intimate partner violence, HIV-related stigma, intersectional stigma, and experiences with everyday discrimination among persons living with HIV.
Additionally, the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health at Duke University School of Nursing launched two signature initiatives in Fall 2021 to reduce stigma around HIV/AIDS and support leaders in ending the HIV epidemic. These include:
- Instituto DILES [DILES (Tell Them) Institute] — Instituto Latinx de Desarrollo Integral de Lideres Empoderados Contra el SIDA (Latinx Comprehensive Development of Empowered Leaders Against AIDS Institute) — A 12-month program, generously supported by ViiV Healthcare, that builds leadership skills for those interested in affecting real change in ending the HIV epidemic among Latino men. The application period is now open.
- NO FEARS (Nurturing Ourselves: Family Education and Activities to Reduce Stigma) Stigma Intervention — This family-based, stigma reduction intervention program provides youth living with HIV and their families with guidance on how to support stigma reduction and promote youths' life opportunities and their development into healthy and fulfilled adults. Visit the CLAFH website for videos and supplementary materials.