Current Projects:

Minority Men Who have Sex With Men Cohort at UCLA Linking Infections Noting Effects (MASCULINE)

U01DA036267 (Gorbach and Shoptaw) National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).


This is a research program to establish a cohort of over 600 minority young active substance users, particularly stimulant users, who have poor histories of antiretroviral treatment adherence as marked by measurable and clinically relevant viral loads. It will enable important tests of biological influences of substances on immune function to investigate the links between non-injection substance abuse and HIV among Latino and African American men who have sex with men. It will establish and maintain a biorepository of specimens for the cohort to be used to stimulate related research.

Press Release: 
UCLA gets $7M to study substance abuse and HIV among minority men who have sex with men

The 24-month Diagnostic Device Challenge: Formative Research in Peru and Cambodia

DOD/Tulane: N62645-15-P-2052 (Paz-Soldan and Gorbach).

In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, assess barriers associated with a diagnostic device that individuals can use in their homes (Role 0) when they experience acute fever using qualitative research with key informants and a pilot sample of household members to keep a diagnostic device at home and use it any time there is a suspicion of febrile illness.

Young Men’s Human Papillomavirus Prevalence Study

CDC/University of Kentucky (Kerndt).
10/11 – 10/14 

600 young men who have sex with men (YMSM) at community clinics will participate in a study of prevalence of types of rectal HPV and vaccine related behaviors as one of two sites (Chicago) via a subcontract to the University of Kentucky from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Role: Co-PI

Epidemiologic Impact of HPV Vaccination

R01 AI104709 (Kahn)
04/01/13 – 03/31/18 

The goals of this study are to examine herd immunity and type replacement after HPV vaccine introduction in a community.

Role: Co-Investigator

NICHD Adolescent Trials Networks

3/01/11- 2/28/16 

Dr. Gorbach is a member of the Adolescent Medicine Leadership Group and the Community Prevention Leadership Group.

The Microbicide Trials Network (MTN)

3/01/11- 2/28/16 

Part of the Magee-Womens Research Institute and with affiliations to Magee-Womens of UPMC and the University of, will be a worldwide collaborative clinical trials network that evaluates the safety and efficacy of microbicides designed to prevent HIV transmission. The mission of the MTN is to reduce the sexual transmission of HIV through the evaluation of microbicide products. The MTN will conduct scientifically rigorous and ethically sound clinical trials that will support licensure of topical microbicide products. The MTN plans to develop and/or execute 15 separate clinical trials of microbicides between 2006 and 2013. Established by the Division of AIDS of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in partnership with other collaborating institutes at the National Institute of Health (NIH), the MTN carries out its mission through a strong network of expert scientists and investigators from domestic and international sites.

Dr. Gorbach is the member of the Behavioral Research Working Group and a behavioral investigator on the following MTN trials/studies:

MTN 015: 
Observational Cohort Study of Women Following Seroconversion in Microbicide Trial

MTN 009: 
HIV Resistance at Screening for HIV Prevention Trials


Completed Projects:

Transmission Behavior in Partnerships of Newly HIV Infected Southern Californians

MetroMates Study. 

This study will measure how transmission risks and partnership dynamics change over time among recently HIV-infected individuals and their partners comparing their behavioral patterns with those with chronic HIV infection and no HIV infection. It will allow for partnership level analyses by actively recruiting sexual partners. Of special focus will be the role of drug use, especially methamphetamine, in affecting behaviors over time, and how partnership dynamics interact with drug use to allow for HIV transmission.

PI: Pamina Gorbach: 
Co-Investigator: Marjan Javanbakht:


This pilot study compares HIV replication in Gut Tissue between men who are chronic Crystal Methamphetamine (CM) users to those who are not CM users in an effort to measure the effects of Crystal Meth in this important immune system area. These data will also assist in identifying the specific biological and socio-behavioral outcomes related to chronic CM use.

Principal Investigators: Peter Anton, MD, Pamina Gorbach, DrPh, Steve Shoptaw, PhD.

Sexual Health of Performers Study (SHoPs)

California HIV/AIDS Research Program (PI: Gorbach)

The study will examine the prevalence of Chlamydia and gonorrhea and look at the risk behaviors and sexual network characteristics of 350 adult film performers in Los Angeles County.

Commercial Lubricant Use and Risk of STI UCLA AIDS Institute (PI: Gorbach). 


With the collaboration of the PIs of Project AWARE, a large NIAID multi-site intervention trial based at 9 STD clinics throughout the US, we will obtain detailed data on lubricant use through an web-questionnaire and analyze associations of lubricant type and frequency of use with rectal gonorrhea and Chlamydial infection (rGC/CT) collected at their 6 month visit.

Point of Care Telemedicine Units for Surveillance of Infectious Disease

10/1/2010 – 6/30/2011. 

Dr. Gorbach is working with Dr. Karin Nielsen from the Department of Pediatrics as an investigator on project to introduce audio-computer assisted interviewing on handheld computers to assess high risk behaviors among women in pre-natal care in Brazil.

Rectal Health, Behaviors and Microbicide Acceptability 

UCLA Microbicide Development Program (NIAID U19): Project 3: 

This project has two studies designed to guide development of rectal microbicides by providing data on anal sex, anal health, and the acceptability of carrier methods for rectal microbicides. The first study will assess rectal health and behaviors among 896 men and women including HIV positive and negative subjects in Los Angeles and Baltimore. The Los Angeles sites include AIDS Research Association and UCLA CARE clinic. Enrollment is open until May, 2009.

The second study is Acceptability of Three Rectal Applicators. This study will be enrolling January-May, 2009 and is being conducted at the UCLA CARE clinic.

In the Pipeline (Barriers to Enrollment in Research Registry for Microbicides Clinical Trials)

In the Pipeline: Rectal Microbicides:

Bajo Investigacion: Microbicidas Rectal:

Project 2 of Network for AIDS Research in Los Angeles (NARLA)

Universitywide AIDS Research Program (UARP). 

This project in collaboration with community partners Friends Research Institute and AIDS Project Los Angeles, is conducting a cohort study of 450 men who have sex with men that will develop educational materials for men about rectal microbicides, assess the best format in which to deliver such information, identify barriers to microbicide trial participation by analyzing factors that facilitate enrollment in a microbicide trials registry, and measure STI and HIV incidence.

HIV/AIDS Risk Behaviors in Methamphetamine User Networks

Project FLOW: 

Los Angeles site of the Sexual Acquisition and Transmission of HIV Cooperative Agreement Program. (NIDA). Co-principal investigator with Dr. Steve Shoptaw in a study of drug using men who have sex with men (MSM), drug using MSM/W, and non drug using MSM and their male and female sexual partners to examine the diffusion of HIV and STDs in drug users in LA to identify the individual-level, partnership-level, and environmental factors that promote the spread of these diseases.

Microbicide Trials Network. Division of AIDS, NIMH, NIH.