Community-Based Research

About Us

The Community-Based Research (CBR) program at AIDS Project Los Angeles conducts research designed to improve services for people and communities affected by HIV/AIDS. It is one of the only programs of its kind operating within an AIDS service organization, and it additionally serves as a resource to other organizations conducting community-based research. Principles guiding our program include community collaboration, responsiveness to community needs, innovation, and rigorous scientific methods. Our study findings are used to identify needs for new services, improve existing services, and highlight trends in the field. These findings are presented at local, statewide, national and international levels. To learn more about the program, please contact Matt G. Mutchler, Ph.D., at 213.201.1522 or send an e-mail.

Our Research

We study social and psychological factors that influence the health and health behaviors of people living with HIV and populations at high risk of HIV infection. Topics explored in our research include: sexual risk behavior; sexual communication; HIV/AIDS treatment education; Medicare policy; substance use; social and cultural factors shaping HIV risk among sexual and racial/ethnic minorities; health disparities; and social stigma and discrimination. Funding sources for the program include the National Institute of Mental Health and National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health. Collaborative research partners include: UCLA; Harvard University; RAND Corporation; California State University, Dominguez Hills; San Francisco State University; Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science; AIDS Alabama; the University of Alabama; and the University of California, San Francisco.

Current Projects

We are conducting multiple innovative research projects in various stages of preparation, data collection, analysis, writing, and publication:

  • A clinical trial of Project Rise, an APLA Treatment Education program that supports people living with HIV to be actively engaged in and informed about their healthcare. The goal of the trial is to see whether this program results in better health outcomes and adherence to medication.
  • A three-year NIH-funded qualitative study that examines how young Black gay and bisexual men communicate with friends about sexual health and HIV testing. The goal is to understand how sexual health values are shared, modified, or developed within communication between friends.
  • A large longitudinal study of HIV-positive African Americans to examine how misconceptions about HIV may spread within networks of friends, family and others.
  • A qualitative research project exploring how substances become associated with sex among Black and Latino young men who have sex with men.
  • A study on the use of text messaging for sexual health promotion among young men who have sex with men
Research Team
  • Matt G. Mutchler, Ph.D
  • Bryce Way McDavitt
  • Sean Jamar Lawrence
  • Kelsey Nogg
  • Vallerie Wagner, M.S.
Internship Program

We accept applicants for Fall, Spring, and Summer internships, as well as year-long internships. Fall and Spring internships require a minimum commitment of 15 hours per week for three months. Summer and year-long internships are usually full-time, with more extensive training and involvement in a greater number of research projects. Learn more about our internship program here.

CBR Publications

Our research findings are published in leading national and international journals, as well as presented to numerous local service providers and community forums.

HIV/AIDS Treatment Education
Sexual Health Norms & Sexual Communication
Innovative Research Methods
Substance Use & Sexual Risk Behavior
Sexual Risk & Protective Behavior