Program / Schedule


April 14

April 15

  • SYNC 2019 Registration 7:30 AM-4:30 PM
  • Breakfast Plenary 9:00-10:30 AM
  • Track Sessions 10:45 AM-12:15 PM
  • Lunch Plenary 12:30-2:00 PM
  • Track Sessions 2:15-3:45 PM
  • SYNC Sessions 4:00-5:30 PM
  • SYNCing Reception & Poster Hall 5:30-6:30 PM

April 16

  • SYNC 2019 Registration 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
  • Breakfast Plenary 9:00-10:30 AM
  • Track Sessions 10:45 AM-12:15 PM
  • Lunch Plenary 12:30-2:00 PM

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Monday, April 15, 2019

Opening Plenary: 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Track Session 1: 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM

Lunch Plenary: 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Track Session 2: 2:15 PM - 3:45 PM

SYNC Sessions: 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

With an overwhelming number of outstanding abstract submissions, we are offering special SYNC sessions on critical, crosscutting topics that are relevant to HIV, HCV, STI, and LGBT health. Topics include telemedicine, climate change, social determinants of health, and sexual health as well as education related to commercial sex workers and incarcerated populations. You will certainly find a SYNC session to pique your interest. SYNC sessions will be held Monday, April 15, 2019 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM as follows: 

Disaster/Climate Change

Within the last few years, natural disasters such as hurricanes and fires have further threatened the access and quality of health services for populations that were already disenfranchised. This session will spark conversations on identifying gaps and support, in order to strengthen future relief efforts.

SYNC Points:

      • Gain an understanding of the impact of natural disasters on health care access and interruption
      • Describe the experiences of people living with HIV in the aftermath of a natural disaster
      • Explain how natural disasters/climate change can affect health equity


Clients that have challenges accessing in-person health services are increasingly able to receive remote health services. This session will focus on the technological advances that allow multidisciplinary provider groups to collaborate, screen, and engage clients.

SYNC Points:

      • Describe how development of a telemedicine program in for rural populations can expand healthcare access to people living with HIV, HCV, and other infectious diseases
      • Understand the role of technology in delivering culturally competent care in areas with provider shortages
      • Demonstrate how home testing methods in HIV, STI and other communicable diseases can impact PrEP and HIV related care


A significant number of incarcerated persons within the US prison system are living with HIV. This session will discuss educational and external linkage programs to reduce HIV transmission and recidivism.

SYNC Points:

      • Discuss the state of HIV and HCV in correction and post-correctional populations
      • Understand how to reduce HIV and HCV transmission in correctional settings
      • Increase awareness of HIV and HCV in correctional settings by learning about prevention and care interventions that work


This session will present two innovative trauma informed models: one is designed to build staff competence and inform management processes, and the other is a client-centered, transitional housing model for YMSM living with HIV.

SYNC Points:

      • Understand how Trauma Informed Care can impact individual healthcare
      • Compare how trauma informed care models for social services such as housing and substance use treatment can aid in health care equity
      • Discuss how trauma informed care champions can transform healthcare settings

CQI – Continuous Quality Improvement

The use of technology has significantly increased our ability to provide continuous quality improvement. This session will highlight effective strategies for the development, analysis and implementation of data driven technical assistance, resources, and programs.

SYNC Points:

      • Understand how evaluation and data can improve and enhance medical services for PLWH
      • Develop tools to ensure service provision for priority populations
      • Describe lessons learned from service collaborations

Sexual Health

This session will focus on the importance of overall sexual health for minority communities, including Black women, American Indian persons and Transgender individuals. The session will highlight the collaboration of STI and HIV prevention programs in optimizing sexual health.

SYNC Points:

      • Recognize the unique needs of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals
      • Understand disparities in STI data among populations Leverage partnerships to end HIV and STI epidemics


Faith and spirituality are varying factors in our daily lives, for some these factors guide the decision-making processes. This session will discuss the affect of faith and spirituality among minority communities, and the role of churches.

SYNC Points:

      • Discuss the role of the Church in HIV care
      • Examine how Scriptures can affirm LGBT people
      • Understand the role of faith and spirituality in health care

Social Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health are conditions in the places, where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a range of health risks and outcomes. This session will highlight programs that address these conditions.

SYNC Points:

      • Understand the impact of unstable housing and incarceration on obtaining viral suppression
      • Determine how social determinants of health impact overall healthcare access and equity
      • Describe the role of social services on improving health outcomes
      • Includes HRSA Track session abstract: 
        Impact of Unstable Housing and Health Outcomes for Ryan White HIV AIDS Program Clients
        Wendy Cousino, Amy Griffin, Latham Avery

Social Media

The use of digital technology and other social media is viewed as an effective strategy to engage young adults around HIV prevention including PrEP usage. This session will highlight programs that use text alert and other technology for HIV prevention.

SYNC Points:

      • Describe the role of social media in HIV prevention
      • Understand how graphic novels and other non-traditional print campaigns can educate individuals about HIV and STIs
      • Understand how automated text messages can impact medical adherence to improve health

Biomedical/Molecular Surveillance

This session will focus on identifying potential transmission clusters amongst individuals in DC to help infer otherwise unknown transmission modes and provide insight for more targeted prevention and intervention strategies.

SYNC Points:

      • Understand the role molecular surveillance in HIV
      • Characterize how HIV dynamics can be understood through genetic sequencing
      • Describe the challenges in implementing molecular surveillance

Sex Workers

This session will explore the most significant barriers to addressing the health and safety needs of sex workers, and propose the development of dynamic partnerships between government and community organizations.
SYNC Points:

      • Assess the Health and Safety needs of sex workers
      • Describe the parameters in which government and communities partner to improve the health outcomes of sex workers
      • Discuss the reasons that individuals engage in sex work and how to mitigate their risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV and STIs

Safety for LGBT Communities

      • Adapting and Tailoring Seeking Safety for LGBT Communities: What Works?
        Presented by Queen Victoria Ortega

SYNCing Reception & Poster Hall: 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Breakfast Plenary: 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Track Session 3: 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM

Lunch Plenary: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM


HRSA/HAB Track Poster:
Housing Disparities and HIV Outcomes
Presented by Avery Latham, Chau Nguyen, Rishelle Anthony, Harold Phillips

She Speaks: Intersection of HIV-STD/IPV 
Presented by Karen Washington   

Increasing Access to PrEP and Hepatitis C treatment in a Health Department Settings 
Presented by Brittany Sanders 

Hepatitis C in Chicago: Using A Community-Based Model to Link Post-Incarcerated Persons to Care
Presented by Ariq Cabbler 

Achieving Higher HCV Seropositivity in High-Risk Communities
Presented by Tatiana Hayes

The Challenges in Providing PrEP in a Primary Care Multi-site FQHC
Presented by Douglas Janssen

Pleasure as Prevention: Kink and BDSM as HIV Prevention 
Candace Moore

Bridging the Gap in Sexual Health: The Implementation of Laboratory Based STD Testing in a Community Based Organization through the Bridges 757 Collaborative
Presented by Felencia McGee 

Challenges Accessing PrEP for HIV Prevention in England
Presented by Kimberly Levitt

A 28 Year History of HIV-1 Drug Resistance and Transmission in Washington, DC
Presented by Margaret Steiner

Patient-Centered Care: Improving Assessment and Management of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Patients at an Urban FQHC
Presented by Megan Honor Caine 

A FOCUS on Virginia: Implementing A Statewide FOCUS Program Utilizing Regional Partnerships
Brenna Pevato 

Divorceafter50.Com: An HIV/STD Prevention Randomized Controlled Trial for Divorced or Separated Older Women
Presented by Patricia Weitzman

Using Data to Improve HIV Testing & Identify Health Disparities on Long Island
Presented by Jessica Clark 

Opt ut Screening for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) at Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers
Presented by Adelero Adebajo

Depression, Substance Use, and Viral Suppression Among Youth with HIV
Authored by Allison Agwu; Presented by Jerrica Li

Implementation and Evaluation of a Locator Protocol to Prevent Participant Loss to Follow-Up in an Urban Hospital-to-Community Transitional Care Program
Presented by Katherine Scott 

Facing the Factors: How Face-to-Face First Encounters Promote Successful Hepatitis C Linkage to Care in an Inpatient Setting
Presented by Minh Tran

System Dynamics of a Large Emergency Department: Reviewing Missed Testing Opportunities in the Routine HIV Testing Program
Presented by Neha Patil 

Housing Experiences among the LGBT Population after the Impact of Hurricane María in Puerto Rico
Luis A. Arroyo-Andujar  

Hepatitis C Infection Among People Receiving HIV Medical Care in Mississippi, 2013-2014
Lee Riley 

Tackling the Healthcare Cost Conversation: Identifying Unmet Needs, Experience and Affordability Surrounding HIV Care
Kathleen Gallagher 

Rapid Linkage to Care Leads to Faster Undetectable Viral Loads in HIV+ Youth
Presented by Clint Steib

Addressing Social Determinants of Health for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Individuals Living with HIV in New York State to Ensure Viral Suppression
Presented by Rick Cook  

My Life Through My Lens: Using a Digital photography Platform to Impact Social Change among Homeless Communities and People Living with HIV/ AIDS
Presented by Louis Carr

Restructuring Targeted Testing Based on Predictive Models and Large Scale HIV Screening
Presented by Joseph Olsen 

Low Uptake of PrEP in Repeat nPEP Users
Presented by Grant Roth 

Advanced Liver Disease in the Setting of Hepatitis C: A New Interdisciplinary and Inter-Service Initiative
Presented by Emily Comstock 

The Significance of The SOGI (‘Sexual Orientation  and Gender Identity”: Screening Questionnaire Form and the Benefits of Its Implementation Presented by Christine Gomez

Syphilis and Gonorrhea Screening among US-bound Immigrants and Refugees, 2018 
Presented by Priti Shah  

Beyond the Birth Cohort
Presented by Andrea Oliver 

Adapting and Tailoring Seeking Safety for LGBT Communities: What Works?
Presented by Queen Victoria Ortega

A Multidisciplinary Community Approach to HCV Testing and Linkage to Care
Presented by Candace Givens 

HCV Linkage to Care: Lessons Learned in Alabama
Presented by Anthony Lee 

Jeopardy: A HCV Trivia Game for HIV and STD Health Educators and Counselors
Presented by Andrew Reynolds 

The Circle Model Cascade
Presented by Ronni Marks

Opioid Crisis in Georgia: A Community Response
Presented by  Zina Age 

Incentivizing Healthcare for Transgender and Non-Binary Patients
Presented by Mikayla Avery 

Two-Year Evaluation of an Online Outreach Strategy to Engage in Brooklyn, New York
Presented by Anton Castellanons Usigli 

HIV/AIDS in Vulnerable Populations: The Conscientious Clinician
Shirley Torho  

Addressing Viral Suppression among Minority Populations
Presented by Jeremy Hyvarien

Sexual Health Education and its Impact on Sexual Minority Women
Ty Miranda

A Day with HIV: How Positively Aware Magazine Combined Story-Telling and a Photo Contest into an All-Inclusive Social Medial Anti-Stigma Campaign
Presented by Rick Guasco 

Garden in a Glove: Exploring Adherence through Horticulture
Presented by Daniel Downer  

Quantifying Health Equity work for Gay, Bisexual and other MSM…Survey Response
Presented by Andrew Zapfel  

Targeting MSM, Minority Underserved Communities through Testing and Providing Effective Linkage to Care
Presented by Giselle Gallo 

Mista Clean (Bathhouse Outreach)
Presented by Darne Guest

Deep in the Heart of Texas: Three Innovative Models of Transgender Healthcare, PrEP, and Sexual Healthcare Delivery in Texas
Presented by Candace Moore 

PEP – Pushed Under the Rug? Some Protocols to Follow
Presented by Mario Forte

Reaching Beyond the Clinic Linkage and Rapid Start at the Hospital Bedside
Presented by Alftan Dyson 

How We Win Viral Suppression in Chronic and Acute HIV Infections among People of Color
Debris Johnson 

Removing Barriers and Finding Solutions for Non-Adherent HIV Positive Patients: Integrating Care Management to Achieve Viral Load Suppression Shannon Stephenson  

The Strongest Link: Does Point of Entry into Care affect Linkage to Care Outcomes?
Presented by Tranekia Turner-Wentt

Implementation of Rapid HIV Treatment in Ambulatory Care Settings – Real Work Experience: Providers in NY State
Matthew Crehan-Higgans

A Summative Evaluation of the Open Arms Health Care Center’s Integrated HIV Care Services Model
Presented by Sandra Melvin  

Providing Consumer-Based Solutions to Ending the Epidemic and Reducing HIV Disparities: Experience to End the Epidemic
Presented by Jennifer Lee 

Implementing System Wide Policy Changes to Address Comprehensive Patient Care in an Evolving Health Care Environment
Presented by Cordella Lyon 

More Than Tested, Cured 
Presented by Mogjan Zare 

She Speaks: Intersection of HIV-STD/IPV 
Presented by Karen Washington