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Health Intervention Projects for Underserved Populations

HIPUP conducts substance abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment research/programs for underserved populations (e.g., gender and ethnic minorities). Through collaboration with targeted communities, HIPUP strives to have a significant impact on health promotion and human rights for underserved communities locally and internationally.

Program Directors

Our Impact

See all Health Intervention Projects for Underserved Populations Impacts

A young transgender woman looking at her face in the bathroom mirror
  • 18K+ people reached through HIPUP's IWAY social media with mental health resources for young Asian Americans
  • 96 high school youth attended IWAY virtual mental health workshops
  • 180 transgender women in the Bay Area who live with HIV received support, health promotion workshops and other wrap-around services, through HIPUP's Butterfly Project

Projects

Active Projects

Flourish Project: Targeted Capacity Expansion Project

Flourish Project is a community-based intervention project aiming to reduce substance use and HIV risk behaviors for transwomen of color in Alameda and San Francisco counties. Flourish Project offers HIV/Viral Hepatitis testing and peer counseling to motivate participants to engage in healthier activities. It also offers a support group and advocacy activities for stable housing/employment. Flourish Project is funded by SAMHSA and implemented in collaboration with Instituto Familiar de la Raza.

Lotus Project

In the collaboration of two key agencies, Public Health Institute (PHI) and Richmond Area Multi-Services (RAMS), the Lotus project aims to provide training, education, and technical assistance based on the wide-scale dissemination science and implementation of effective, evidence-based trauma-informed treatment and service approaches specific to Asian American and Asian immigrant (AAAI) populations.

Flourish 2 Project

The Flourish 2 Project aims to increase engagement in care for transwomen of color with substance use disorders (SUD) and/or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders (COD) who are at risk for or living with HIV. Flourish 2 Project will target high risk transwomen of color including African Americans, Latinas, Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs), and Native Americans in Alameda and San Francisco counties, CA.

Completed Projects

Reducing Stigma and HIV Risk Behaviors among Kathoey in Bangkok, Thailand

This is an NIH-funded R21 exploratory study to examine the efficacy of the HIV prevention program based on Motivational Enhancement Intervention (MEI) to reduce substance use and sexual risk behaviors and increase the enrollment in PrEP for high-risk kathoey (transwomen) in Bangkok, Thailand. This study is collaborated with the Department of Public Health, Chulalongkorn University.

IWAY: Improving the Wellness of Asian Youth

IWAY is a community-based intervention project aiming to provide trauma-informed care to reduce psychological symptoms and behavioral problems (e.g., substance use) and promote health and well-being for Asians in Alameda County. IWAY offers professional counseling, youth empowerment and leadership programs, a peer support group (“Boba Tea Talk”), and high-school internship program. IWAY is funded by SAMHSA and implemented in collaboration with the Asian Health Services in Oakland.

SHIFT Project: Sustainable Health Initiatives for Trans Young Adults of Color

SHIFT Project funded by SAMHSA is a community-based intervention project aiming to reduce substance use & HIV risk behaviors among trans/non-binary youth of color in Alameda and San Francisco Counties. SHIFT Project offers HIV/Viral Hepatitis testing in collaboration with the Asian Health Services and individual peer counseling to motivate clients to engage in healthier activities. SHIFT Project also provides an environmental intervention and offers peer-led support groups “TransUnder30."

Phoenix Study: Substance and Non-Prescribed Hormone use among Transwomen, Transmen, and Gender Non-Binary People

Phoenix Study funded by NIDA aims to longitudinally examine the interaction of substance and hormone use on health outcomes among trans people in the San Francisco Bay Area. Based on mixed methods, we investigate trans persons’ health outcomes in relation to substance and hormone use and sociocultural factors. We also offer a peer-led support group (TransUnder30). Phoenix Study is implemented in collaboration with researchers at Brown University and University of Michigan.

Capacity Building Initiative for Substance Abuse and HIV Prevention Services for Young, At-Risk Transgender Women of Color

This project aims to prevent substance abuse and HIV risk behaviors among young (18 to 24) transgender women of color in Alameda and San Francisco counties. In collaboration with a local substance abuse treatment agency, we will develop, implement and evaluate the motivational enhancement intervention, which will be adapted and tailored to high-risk transgender women of color.

Culture and HIV Prevention in Cambodia

This collarative project explores what Cambodian female sex workers think about HIV risk, HIV infection and prevention technologies. The socio-cultural constructs of harmonious control and fatalism, investigated in previous studies with female sex workers in San Francisco, will also be explored and the comparability of these constructs across studies will be examined.

Developing a Couples HIV Prevention for Transgender Women and Male Partners

The research study adapts, refines and pilot tests an empirically supported couples-focused behavioral intervention, Project Connect, to reduce HIV-related risk behaviors among transgender women and their male partners. This study is guided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's evidence-based framework for adapting scientifically validated HIV prevention practices for heterosexual couples to transgender women and their male partners.

HIV Prevention for Young African American Transgender Women in Oakland/Alameda County

AIDS Project of the East Bay, in partnership with PHI, implements culturally sensitive and efficacious HIV-prevention programs for African American young transgender women between the ages of 13 and 29 in the targeted communities in Oakland/Alameda County, California. 

Enhancing Engagement and Retention in Quality HIV Care for Transgender Women of Color in Oakland, CA

This five-year Butterfly Project will enroll 180 transgender women who live with HIV. The Butterfly Project will utilize innovative intervention programs  to engage and retain African-American transgender women who live with HIV. In addition, the Butterfly Project will operate a storefront safe place for transgender women of color and hold weekly support groups and health promotion workshops.

Substance Use and HIV Risk Behaviors among Thai Women

This study investigates the sociocultural contexts of HIV risk behaviors and drug use among Thai female and male-to-female transgender (kathoey) sex workers in Bangkok. This research will be used to develop theoretical models and HIV prevention intervention studies in the future.

Successful Stories from API MSM about Prevention Strategies

This study describes HIV risk behaviors among Asian/Pacific Islander men who have sex with men (API MSM) in socio-cultural contexts based on an Internet survey and focus groups. The study will describe protective strategies against HIV/ATIs, which will be used in HIV prevention programs for API MSM in the future.

Preventing Substance Abuse and HIV Risk Behaviors Among Asian Pacific Islander MSM

The project aims to prevent substance abuse and HIV risk behaviors among Asian/Pacific Islander (API) men who have sex with men (MSM) based on the collaboration of multiple community-based agencies, who will implement and evaluate motivational enhancement intervention and brief intervention, adapted for high-risk API MSM.

Substance Abuse and HIV Risk Reduction for Transgender Women of Color

This randomized controlled study evaluates the efficacy and community impact of Motivational Enhancement Intervention and Brief Intervention to reduce substance abuse and HIV risk behaviors among African American and Latina transgender women. Priority will also be placed on disseminating findings and building capacity to develop a a full-scale intervention study.

Exploring Factors for Future HIV Prevention in Malaysia

The study will investigate homophobia/transphobia and other sociocultural factors that influence substance use and HIV-related risk behaviors among stigmatized high-risk groups in Malaysia: men who have sex with men and male-to-female transgender women. 

Butterfly Project for Transgender Women of Color

The Butterfly Project (BP) has three major components: outreach, intervention, and building and sustaining community for transgender of women of color in Alameda and San Francisco counties. Through the Motivational Enhancement Intervention, quality of life workshops, and support groups, BP will engage transgender women of color, increasing retention of those infected with HIV in HIV primary care and other necessary services.

Screenshot from HIPUP IWAY participant video of Nay Aye, speaking to camera

HIPUP’s IWAY offers professional counseling, youth empowerment and leadership programs, peer support groups, a high-school internship program and school-based programs.

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