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Vulnerable Populations

People Who Are Homeless or Unstably Housed

Our community-based research focuses on the health of homeless and unstably housed adults who are infected or at risk for infection with HIV. We seek a better understanding of how social and structural factors like housing instability and insurance loss influence health and health services use. As a T2 (“bedside to community”) translational research group, our goal is to inform health care delivery, drug treatment, trauma interventions and HIV prevention programs targeting impoverished and unstably housed persons. We emphasize “real-world” strategies that offer the ability to understand complex situations over time.

Download a newsletter for study participants here.

Recent Publications
  1. Riley ED, Moore KL, Haber S, Neilands TB, Cohen J and Kral AH. Population-Level Effects of Uninterrupted Health Insurance on Services Use among HIV-Positive Unstably Housed Adults. AIDS Care. 2011; 23(7):822-30.
  2. Carrico AW, Bangsberg DR, Weiser SD, Chartier M, Dilworth SE and Riley ED. Psychiatric Correlates of HAART Utilization and Viral Load among HIV-positive Impoverished Persons. AIDS. 2011;25(8):1113-8.
  3. Riley ED, Moore K, Sorensen JL, Tulsky JP, Bangsberg DR and Neilands TB. Basic Subsistence Needs and Overall Health Among Human Immunodeficiency Virus-infected Homeless and Unstably Housed Women. Am J Epidemiology. 2011;174(5):515-22.
  4. Riley ED, Neilands TB, Moore K, Cohen J, Bangsberg DR and Havlir D. Social, Structural and Behavioral Determinants of Overall Health Status in a Cohort of Homeless and Unstably Housed HIV-Infected Men. PLoS One. 2012; 7(4):e35207.

For additional information contact Elise Riley, PhD at eriley@epi-center.ucsf.edu and see also:

People Who Use Drugs


Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) is a public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for persons with or at risk of developing alcohol and drug use disorders.

XIX International AIDS Conference 2012 poster: Screening and Brief Intervention for Unhealthy Substance Use in HIV Primary Care Settings Is Associated with Substance Use Reductions and Viral Suppression among PLWHIV in San Francisco, CA, USA Carol Dawson Rose RN, PhD, FAAN; Emiko Kamitani RN, MS; Shannon Eng MBA & Paula J. Lum MD, MPH

Please Visit SBIRT's Webpage for more information.

UFO Presents!

UFO Presents! is a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded program providing much needed hepatitis education, prevention and care services for youth and young adults with injection risk in San Francisco, CA. We aim to meet the broader needs of youth and young adults through comprehensive health and psychosocial support. We are the most experienced group in San Francisco in providing hepatitis, HIV and STI prevention services tailored to young adult IDU, a group with few other health-related resources or programs tailored directly to them.

UFO Presents! follows from a series of research studies with young IDU, called the UFO Studies. Since 1997, UFO has served over 1200 young IDU in San Francisco. HCV prevention care education resources have been offered to UFO participants. UFO Presents! allows us to apply our years of experience to ALL young IDU, regardless of participation in the UFO Studies.

Please Visit UFO's Webpage for more information.

Buprenorphine Studies

The Beehive Program provides office-based buprenorphine treatment at the Positive Health Program for patients with heroin or other opioid dependence. An alternative to methadone that can be prescribed by qualified PHP physicians, buprenorphine (or “bupe”) is an effective sublingual medication that can be prescribed for patients that have developed a harmful dependence on prescription opioids. It also can be taken to prevent relapsing back into a heroin or painkiller addiction, making productive living more possible. Please contact Paula Lum, MD, MPH, at (415) 476-4082 ext. 411 for more information.

Recent Publications
  1. Lum PJ, Little S, Botsko M, Hersh D, Thawley RE, Egan JE, Mitty J, Boverman J, Fiellin DA, BHIVES Collaborative. Opioid Prescribing and Provider Confidence Recognizing Opioid Abuse in HIV Primary Care Settings. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2011 Mar 1;56 Suppl 1:S91-7. PMID: 21317601
  2. Lum PJ, Tulsky JP. The medical management of opioid dependence in HIV primary care settings. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep. 2006 Nov;3(4):195-204. Review. PMID: 17089480.
  3. Rose CD, Courtenay-Quirk C, Knight K, Shade SB, Vittinghoff E, Gomez C, Lum PJ, Bacon O, Colfax G. HIV intervention for providers study: a randomized controlled trial of a clinician-delivered HIV risk-reduction intervention for HIV-positive people. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2010 Dec 15;55(5):572-81. PMID: 20827218.
  4. Evans JL, Tsui JI, Hahn JA, Davidson PJ, Lum PJ, Page K. Mortality among young injection drug users in San Francisco: a 10-year follow-up of the UFO study. Am J Epidemiol. 2012 Feb 15;175(4):302-8.