The National Institutes of Health recently issued $26M in awards to HIV research institutions in its fifth year supporting implementation science under the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative. These awards are the latest investments in a program that is rapidly and rigorously generating evidence to inform the unified domestic HIV response by agencies in the Department of Health and Human Services.

The EHE initiative aims to achieve a 90% reduction in the number of new HIV infections in the United States by 2030. Since the initiative was announced in 2019, NIH has contributed by supporting implementation science projects through its network of Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) AIDS Research Centers (ARC). CFARs are co-funded by 11 NIH institutes and centers (ICs), including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). NIH ICs provide scientific stewardship to participating institutions in collaboration with the Fogarty International Center and the NIH Office of AIDS Research, which coordinates the NIH HIV research program across the agency. CFAR and ARC-affiliated investigators conduct research in jurisdictions that are disproportionately affected by HIV, and many of the CFAR and ARC member institutions are based in these communities.

VIDEO: Jeanne Marrazzo, MD, MPH, NIAID Director, discusses NIH’s role in the EHE (the video is also at the top of this page and on YouTube; the audio description version is here):

NIH EHE projects enable academic institutions to partner with state and local leaders to jointly translate implementation research findings into improved delivery of HIV testing, prevention, treatment, and response services for priority populations and in priority geographic areas. Projects funded this year are designed to increase and share available knowledge on locally appropriate strategies to:

  • detect and respond to HIV “clusters,” i.e., groups of people and communities experiencing rapid HIV transmission;

  • leverage pharmacies as HIV service locations; 

  • ensure uninterrupted HIV care for people returning to their communities following incarceration; and

  • develop approaches that address intersecting diseases and conditions that exacerbate health inequities and impact HIV outcomes, including such as viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, and substance use and mental health disorders.

Since Fiscal Year 2019, NIH has funded 253 projects across 50 geographic areas prioritized by EHE. The latest EHE awards to CFARs and ARCs support 47 projects, 8 implementation science hubs, and 1 coordinating center. Hubs provide technical support, coaching, training, and consultative services to funded EHE research teams. The coordinating center provides infrastructure for collaboration and sharing best practices in HIV implementation science. In addition to the CFAR/ARC supplements, NIH supported multiple larger research projects in 2023, including 3 R01 awards, 2 R34 awards, and 1 coordinating center. In September 2023, NIH released a Notice of Special Interest to solicit project proposals from independent investigators for Fiscal Year 2024.

EHE Project Spotlights

The knowledge generated by NIH EHE projects is reviewed with HHS EHE partners to accelerate learning and program improvement. Two projects below illustrate how EHE implementation science projects have already enhanced locally tailored HIV service delivery:

Miami, Florida

Miami-Dade County, Florida has one of the highest rates of HIV incidence in the United States, and yet use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV acquisition remains relatively low. Researchers at the University of Miami, in collaboration with the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and a local community-based organization called Prevention305, developed a process to apply real-time DOH epidemiologic data to prioritize new geographic locations for placement of their mobile PrEP clinics. In collaboration with community partners, the project developed a new outreach approach: “Test-to-PrEP,” in which people using PrEP are engaged to distribute free HIV self-tests and PrEP referrals through their social networks. They have worked with 100 current PrEP clients to engage members of their social network with information about PrEP provide them with HIV self-tests. More than one third of the 117 HIV self-test kit recipients who confirmed they used the test reported they had not previously known about PrEP. Self-reported knowledge and likelihood to use PrEP increased significantly after kit receipt. PrEP clients also reported feeling comfortable with the distribution and enthusiastic about the strategy. Their work has provided a blueprint for mobile HIV prevention and related services as a strategy to interrupt further transmission.

Shelby County, Tennessee

Rural areas like Shelby County pose distinct challenges to HIV service delivery, including a lack of outpatient providers and fragmented health care and social services, as well as stigma and medical mistrust. To overcome these barriers, researchers from University of Massachusetts, Lowell, in collaboration with the University of Memphis and the Shelby County Health Department, used an implementation research approach to adapt and provide an evidence-based training and capacity-building program in HIV care for existing community health workers (CHWs), with input from HIV care providers, people with HIV, and CHWs. CHWs are frontline public health workers who are also members of the community they serve. The team has trained 67 CHW to support HIV care across eight agencies and has provided coaching sessions to supervisors around how to sustain this workforce. They are assessing the sustainability and effectiveness of this program in addressing service gaps and improving health outcomes through follow-up surveys with health care agency staff and county health leaders.

In addition to NIH, HHS agencies and offices participating in EHE include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Health Resources and Services Administration; the Indian Health Service; the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health; and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 

To view a complete list of NIH research projects supported with EHE initiative funding, please visit the awards page

To learn more about EHE, please visit

This NIAID Now blog post was published April 8, 2024, on