2013 APA Convention Highlights

At the 121st APA Annual Convention, July 31 - Aug. 4, 2013, in Honolulu, HIV/AIDS programming included two exciting and well attended symposiums.

Health Disparities: Emerging Biopsychosocial Challenges of Older Adults Living with HIV

Sponsors: Committee on Psychology and AIDS, Committee on Aging, Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology, Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs, Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns, Committee on Socioeconomic Status and Committee on Women in Psychology

This symposium chaired by Monica Rivera Mindt, PhD (Fordham University/Mount Sinai School of Medicine) examined intersecting biopsychosocial challenges that produce and perpetuate health disparities in HIV-infected older adults that result in elevated levels of morbidity and mortality in this group. A well-attended event which featured local speakers, the symposium highlighted how various disabilities (e.g., hearing and vision loss) affect those at-risk for, or living with, HIV infection and how these disabilities exacerbate comorbid health conditions and neurocognitive decline in HIV-seropositive older adults. The psychological challenges of older adults newly infected with HIV was compared and contrasted to those of long-term survivors of HIV and consideration was given to the unique challenges faced by HIV-infected older adult women and older adult gay men. Discussion included how stigma, shame, limited access to crucial health resources and the stress associated with these challenges perpetuate disparities in older adults living with HIV/AIDS. Mark Brennan-Ing, PhD, of AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA) served as the discussant. Specific presentations were as follows:

  • "Biopsychosocial Considerations of Disability Among Aging HIV-Positive Adults"
    Lawrence H. Pick, PhD, Gallaudet University

  • "Health Disparities: Emerging Biopsychosocial Challenges of Older Adults with Living with HIV"
    Rivera Mindt, PhD, Fordham University/Mount Sinai School of Medicine

  • "Accelerated Cognitive Aging among Older HIV+ Racial/Ethnic Minority Adults"
    Monica Rivera Mindt, PhD, Fordham University/Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Beau Nakamoto, MD, PhD, University of Hawai‘i

  • "Cultural Considerations of Health Outcomes among HIV+ Older Adults: Implications for Treatment"
    Patrick K. Kamakawiwo‘ole, PsyD, Argosy University

  • "HIV/AIDS in Older Women: Unique Challenges, Unmet Needs"
    Ramani Durvasula, PhD, California State University, Los Angeles

  • "The AIDS Generation: Resilience of Middle Age Gay Men who are Long Term Survivors of AIDS"
    Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH, New York University

APA and BET Networks Partnership: Using Media as a Platform to Address HIV Disparities Among Youth

Sponsor:  Division 54

Senior director of the APA Office on AIDS David Martin, PhD, chaired this exciting symposium which focused on using media to address HIV disparities among youth and included live tweeting. During the symposium, the formation of a partnership between APA and BET Networks was described and strategies identified for developing a national evidence-based media campaign were highlighted. The symposium brought together APA Committee on Psychology AIDS (COPA) member Velma McBride Murry, PhD (Vanderbilt University), Scyatta Wallace, PhD (St. John's University), BET media network executive Vikki Johnson, and pediatric psychologist Chandra Graves, PhD (Emory University), to discuss this unique partnership to address the HIV disparities that exist among African-American youth.

The symposium provided lessons learned from the APA/BET partnership to develop a national evidence based HIV prevention media campaign targeting African-American youth and examples of strategies used to establish buy-in, build collaborative structures and work together effectively on this partnership. Presentations provided an overview of how the partnership was developed. They also highlighted unique expertise that each constituent brings to the project as well as provided a discussion of the potential impact these types of partnerships may have in addressing HIV disparities among African-American youth.

Symposium presenters from left to right: David Martin(APA), Sonya Lockett(BET), Vikki Johnson(BET), Velma Mcbride Murry(COPA), Scyatta Wallace(St. John’s University), Chanda Graves (Emory)

Symposium presenters from left to right: David Martin (APA), Sonya Lockett (BET), Vikki Johnson (BET), Velma Mcbride Murry (COPA), Scyatta Wallace (St. John’s University) and Chanda Graves (Emory)