What We Do
Established in 1993, Project ACHIEVE is part of the New York Blood Center’s Laboratory of Infectious Disease Prevention. We conduct intervention trials to develop innovative ways to help participants reduce their risk of HIV infection. In association with the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the HIV Prevention Network, we conduct studies that span all phases of HIV vaccine research as part of an international effort to find a preventive HIV vaccine.
In addition to our research, we continue to educate the community to build awareness of the need for a vaccine and other prevention interventions; to build acceptance and support for research; and to encourage advocacy for new trials. We achieve this through a variety of ways which include group presentations and workshops, conferences, and newsletters.
We partner with multiple Community Based Organizations in the New York City metro area to develop and test innovative behavioral interventions. Our Community Education and Recruitment staff is frequently found in the streets engaging participants for new studies and distributing HIV prevention materials. We organize and participate in community events to commemorate special days of the year such as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, and New York City Gay Prides. Some of our trial participants and other volunteers from the community form our Community Advisory Board (CAB). The CAB meets throughout the year to discuss the interests and concerns of target communities for HIV prevention.
AP News Features Project Achieve’s Role in Vital COVID-19 Vaccine Education
The National Institutes of Health was determined to ensure COVID-19 vaccines were tested in a population reflecting the diversity of the nation to build confidence in the vaccine that proved effective. Mobiles have been used for years to reach at-risk communities to fight HIV, and as more doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines arrive, mobile clinics are expected to help expand COVID-19 vaccination access.
Researchers from NYBC’s Project Achieve are answering the call by taking mobile labs to areas of Queens and Brooklyn with large African American, Asian, and Hispanic populations. Once study enrollment ends, participants can visit the mobile lab for their required check-ups. NYBC researchers are also spending time outside the mobile labs answering questions from the community about COVID-19 vaccination. It’s “building trust and rapport,” said Project Achieve’s Dr. Jorge Soler, whose expertise contributes to the study of the AstraZeneca vaccine. “I’m Latino and I’m a scientist. To be able to say that to people means something.”
Read more about Project Achieve’s outstanding work in our diverse communities.