Dr. Aberg is the Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases for the Mount Sinai Health System and the Dr. George Baehr Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS). Dr. Aberg is a scientific leader in the study of HIV-related opportunistic infections, vaccine response and complications of HIV disease, including studies of the pathogenesis of inflammation that contributes to comorbidities associated with the aging of those with HIV infection. She served a key role in the development and dissemination of the HIV clinical practice guidelines and in their revision, as treatment has greatly improved over the past decades, to incorporate the latest evidence base as guidance moved to a chronic diseases medical model for HIV. For decades, her renowned research to combat the HIV epidemic has been instrumental in developing national, state and local guidelines for HIV prevention and care. She founded the Infectious Disease Clinical and Translational Research Center with locations at the five HIV clinics to conduct NIH-sponsored, investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored studies. Under Dr. Aberg’s leadership, the IAM has grown to be the largest HIV/AIDS treatment center in Manhattan, NYC providing comprehensive care to over 10,000 patients each year.
Despite treatment advances in HIV with aggressive treatment guidelines, and large-scale investments in infrastructure support to reach the 90-90-90 HIV treatment goals, as well as unprecedented coordination at the national, state and local levels, a substantial number of people with HIV remain unsuppressed. To fully realize the benefits of antiretroviral therapy for improving outcomes at each step of the HIV care continuum, including engagement in care and HIV suppression in addition to treatment as prevention in curbing HIV transmission we must implement aggressive programs to reach persons with HIV who have been unable to attain viral suppression via traditional clinical care programs. Substance use and mental health disorders are highly prevalent among people with HIV and are considered by many to be the most challenging barriers to engagement and adherence to care. Here we will present two of our interventional programs implemented at the Mount Sinai Health System to improve retention in care and viral suppression among persons with HIV and concurrent substance use and /or mental health conditions. Dr. Kojic will present preliminary data on iCare: a NIDA supported comprehensive, integrated program developed by Dr. Ana Ventuneac to detect and reduce substance abuse and in turn, to improve ART adherence and HIV-related health outcomes among people with HIV. Dr. Aberg will present Rango an e-health intervention supported by CMS and developed by VillageCare. Rango is an online platform that combines a variety of technology-enabled features into one service that motivates and educates people to manage their own health.