About ATN Working Groups
Currently, the ATN has three active working groups:
Community-engaged Dissemination and Implementation Working Group
Bioethics Working Group
Policy and Advocacy Working Group
The mission statements and goals for each of these working groups are listed below.
"These working groups are an opportunity to collaboratively extend the work of individual programs and projects to new and emerging areas so that we can flexibly respond to the HIV epidemic among youth," Sylvie Naar, PhD, said. She is the ATN Executive Committee chair and the principal investigator for the ATN Scale It Up project. Dr. Naar is a professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine at the Florida State University (FSU) College of Medicine, and she is the director of the Center for Translational Behavioral Science at FSU.
Joining a Working Group
If you see a working group in the list below that interests you, and you are part of the ATN's project / study staff, contact Dr. Sylvie Naar to learn more about joining at Sylvie.Naar@med.fsu.edu.
The Community-engaged Dissemination and Implementation (CEDI) Working Group
The Community-engaged Dissemination and Implementation Research (CEDI) working group was formed to respond to two External Scientific Panel (ESP) recommendations: 1) Enhance participatory research; 2) Increase strategic communication. According to a recent special section on CEDI (Holt and Chambers, 2017), CEDI research involves “dissemination or implementation of evidence-based health interventions within clinical or community-based processes or partnerships, including but not limited to community-based participatory research.”
1. To continually evaluate the current and planned efforts for participatory research within the ATN.
a. To delineate the ATN’s target clinical and community settings based on the original Request for Application (RFA) and the current U19s that comprise the ATN.
2. To monitor the strategic communication plan to disseminate ATN activities and findings.
3. To facilitate biannual CEDI Stakeholders Panel (CEDI-SP) to provide a forum within which people from outside the ATN can bring their different perspective and to understand the barriers and facilitators of scaling up evidence-based behavior change interventions that prevent the spread of HIV among adolescents and emerging adults and improve the health of those living with HIV.
The Bioethics Working Group
The mission of the bioethics working group is to leverage available evidence to develop strategies to address ethical complexities in the recruitment, consent to enrollment, and retention of minor adolescents and emerging adults in biomedical and behavioral HIV research, and delineate appropriate empirical research gaps that must be filled. Exploring these ethical complexities through a youth-empowerment framework will advance a diverse program of research designed to address evidence gaps in HIV prevention and treatment for often marginalized youth communities.
1. Examining existing ethical frameworks and evidence-based methods for successful and ethical recruitment, consent, and retention of youth who are either at risk of HIV exposure or living with HIV.
i. Systematically review existing literature focused on:
• Current practices of recruitment, consent, and retention of at-risk and multiply marginalized youth communities
• Existing ethical guidelines for the use of digital networked technologies such as electronic health records (EHRs) and social media for recruitment, consent, and retention of these communities
• Demonstrated drivers of trust and mistrust of institutionally affiliated researchers and health care providers among these communities.
2. Soliciting and describing stakeholder perceptions of ethical, legal, or regulatory challenges encountered in their work with at-risk and multiply marginalized youth communities.
i. Systematically analyze existing data from adolescents, parents of adolescents, young adults, IRB administrators, and researchers who described their: experiences with research (as participants or regulatory personnel), opinions about youth engagement in research, preferences regarding recruitment and consent, and perceptions of unresolved ethical issues and needs.
ii. Conduct a qualitative/mixed method study with youth living with HIV who are sporadically engaged in care, public health officials, and health care providers, to develop ethical, community-informed recruitment, consent, and retention strategies.
iii. Explore the ethical implications of using molecular surveillance/analysis from population-level surveillance registries and similar emerging platforms to prioritize public health activities in marginalized communities.
3. Utilize findings to develop approaches to address the identified ethical, legal, or regulatory challenges described by key stakeholders.
i. Collaboratively develop a brief report of findings, policy recommendations, and standard operating procedures, including:
• Scripts for recruitment
• Consent forms and multimedia presentations to ensure youth understand the risks and benefits of HIV research
• Guidelines for ethical use of social media and medical records for recruitment and retention of youth in HIV research
• Clear and complete explanation of risks to confidentiality, with greater emphasis on activities associated with study (travel, taking medications, evidence of blood draws) as possible mechanisms of inadvertent disclosure of participation
• Guidelines for the ethical closure of research studies, to include: dissemination of results, and termination of participant-research team relationships
The Policy and Advocacy Working Group
The Policy and Advocacy Workgroup will work in collaboration with ATN members to translate their research findings on prevention and care of HIV among youth into policy and advocacy products (e.g., policy briefs, issue briefs) and activities (e.g., educational campaigns, briefings) that are in alignment with both IRS and NIH guidelines related to allowable policy/advocacy activities.
1. The Policy and Advocacy Workgroup will assist ATN members with the following aspects of policy and advocacy work:
a. Identify and frame problems or issues affecting the health of adolescents with and/or at risk of HIV in a way that lends themselves to potential policy/advocacy solutions.
b. Identify different policy/advocacy options to address the problem/issue, and use quantitative and qualitative methods to evaluate policy/advocacy options to determine the most effective, efficient, and feasible option. This should include a careful consideration of existing policy/advocacy initiatives.
c. Identify key stakeholders and policy actors that are relevant to the proposed policy/advocacy solution.
d. Develop policy and advocacy products/activities that are in alignment with the proposed policy solution. This may involve writing new policies or creating advocacy materials to promote the proposed policy/advocacy solution.
e. Disseminate policy and advocacy products/activities to the most appropriate key stakeholder and policy actors in order to promote the proposed policy/advocacy solution.
f. Evaluate the policy and advocacy products/activities that were developed and implemented.