Yale University

HIV/AIDS in Humanitarian Crises

The Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) launched a new initiative in fall 2020 to convene a series of symposia and research activities focused on "HIV/AIDS in Humanitarian Crises". The initiative is co-led by Kaveh Khoshnood, PhD, MPH and Luke Davis, MD, MAS and coordinated by Dini Harsono, MSc. Also supporting this project are Hanna Peterson (MPH '22), Swarali Atre (MPH '23), Winnie Ho (MPH '23), and Dina Garmroudi and Jax Jin (undergraduate student assistants).

The overarching goals of the program are to:

  1. Identify research questions related to the well-being of people with HIV or at risk for HIV and affected by humanitarian crises
  2. Create a network of scientists, practitioners, policymakers, and other stakeholders to work together on research and other relevant activities.

Displaced Person illustrationA humanitarian crisis is defined as an event or series of events that seriously threaten the health, safety, and well-being of a community or large group of people. Examples of such events include: natural disasters or environmental events, wars, civil unrest, economic and political crises, other displacements or forced migrations. Humanitarian crises have affected historic numbers of people worldwide in recent years and are threatening global progress on HIV/AIDS.

This initiative is supported by the Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund and the Council on Middle East Studies at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. Other partners include the Council on African Studies, Program on Refugees, Forced Displacement, and Humanitarian Responses, and Yale Institute for Global Health.


2020 World AIDS Day Symposium: "Addressing HIV/AIDS in Humanitarian Crises: Perspectives from Lebanon" - December 7, 2020

The first symposium, "Addressing HIV/AIDS in Humanitarian Crises: Perspectives from Lebanon" was held on December 7, 2020 in observance of World AIDS Day. The symposium addressed current research and identified challenges and strategies related to HIV/AIDS testing, linkage, and care retention among Lebanese citizens and displaced populations in Lebanon, including the impact of economic, political, and COVID-19 crises and the aftermath of the August 4, 2020 explosion on service and care delivery. The event also reflected on the resilience of the HIV community in Lebanon and the important role of community-driven initiatives to support the HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 responses in humanitarian setting.


2022 Spring Events "HIV/AIDS in Humanitarian Crises"
Complete event listing

1. CIRA@Yale Symposium "Addressing HIV/AIDS, Mental Health, and Substance Use in Humanitarian Settings"
Monday, April 4, 2022, 9:00 am-12:00 pm ET

2. CIRA@Yale Panel: “Ethics of HIV/AIDS-related Research and Practice in Humanitarian Settings”
Monday, April 18, 2022, 9:00 am-10:30 am ET
Panelists: Christopher Cole, A Place to Nourish your Health; Jennifer Mootz, Columbia University and NY State Psychiatric Institute; and Johanna Elumn, Health Justice Lab
Moderator: Kaveh Khoshnood, Yale School of Public Health

3. CIRA@Yale Workshop: “Ethical Considerations for HIV/AIDS Research in Humanitarian Settings“
Thursday, May 19, 2022, 9:00 am-12:00 pm ET
Faculty leaders: Kaveh Khoshnood, Luke Davis, Stephen Latham


Other Initiatives

  • Published a scoping review protocol looking into evidence on HIV risk and vulnerabilities in the context of humanitarian crises (March 2022). The scoping review is currently being conducted.
  • Launched the HIV/AIDS in Humanitarian Crises Newsletter that highlights pertinent research news, events, publications, resources, and opportunities.
  • Mantain an electronic library, a working repository updated periodically and available to the public with links to event slides, recordings, references, and other resources that support the conduct of HIV/AIDS, mental health, and substance use-related research and practice in humanitarian settings.
  • Conduct a rapid review of ethics of HIV research in humanitarian settings.
  • Explore ideas and resources to develop a special issue of articles on HIV/AIDS in humanitarian crises.
  • Discuss research ideas and funding opportunities to support research addressing HIV/AIDS and associated comorbidities in humanitarian settings.

For questions about this program or to join the program's mailing list, contact Dini Harsono (dini.harsono@yale.edu).