The Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) was established in 1997 and is currently New England's only National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funded AIDS research center. CIRA brings together scientists from 25 different disciplines and three institutions including Yale University, The Institute for Community Research and the Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention. At Yale, faculty from seven different schools participate in CIRA, including the Yale School of Public Health, Yale School of Medicine, Yale School of Management, Yale Law School, Yale Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Yale School of Nursing, and Yale Divinity School.
CIRA's mission is to support the conduct of interdisciplinary research focused on the prevention of HIV infection and the reduction of negative consequences of HIV disease in vulnerable and underserved populations nationally and abroad.
Director/Principal Investigator: Paul D. Cleary, Ph.D.
Deputy Directors: Jeannette R. Ickovics, Ph.D. and Brian W. C. Forsyth, MB, ChB, FRCP(C)
Executive Director: Elaine O'Keefe, M.S.
Assistant Director, Administration: Gai Doran, B.S.
Assistant Director, Information & Research Technology: Pete Donohue, B.A.
The Center presently provides infrastructure support to almost 70 research and training grants and over 50 affiliated scientists. This research is undertaken at multiple levels of analysis (individual, interpersonal, community/network and structural/policy) and can generally be classified into four categories:
- Basic social and behavioral researchaimed at identifying the determinants of HIV-related risk in different vulnerable populations. Several of these projects combine social/behavioral with biomedical/laboratory research in innovative ways;
- Intervention research focusing either on evaluating existing prevention interventions, or on developing and subsequently evaluating new interventions;
- Policy research and modeling-based research that examines the cost-effectiveness of interventions and their impact on the HIV/AIDS pandemic, as well as the public health decision-making process; and
- International research that seeks to translate lessons learned from behavioral and intervention research in the United States to locales outside the United States, and to apply the experience with HIV prevention research in other countries to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Connecticut.