In the News


2023 IDHI Annual Report


Image of cover of IDHI 2023 Annual Report

IDHI is delighted to present our annual report for the fiscal year 2023. As we reflect on the accomplishments and hurdles of the past year, we are proud to share our progress and initiatives that have positioned us for sustained growth and success.

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FSU College of Nursing Dr. Henna Budhwani Elected Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine


The Florida State University College of Nursing (CON) celebrates the exceptional achievements of Professor Henna Budhwani, Ph.D., MPH, who has been named a Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM). This esteemed recognition, awarded to a limited number of distinguished individuals each year, acknowledges Dr. Budhwani's pioneering work in forging a critical link between behavioral and biomedical research, thereby paving the way for advancements in healthcare and improved patient well-being.

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HIV Status-Neutral RISE Intervention Utilizing Smartphone Intervention Platform First of Its Kind in Sub-Saharan Africa


Drs. Lisa Hightow-Weidman and Kate Muessig recently returned from a one-week trip to Lusaka, Zambia as part of a newly-funded National Institutes of Health project to expand HIV prevention and care services for sexual and gender minority adolescents and young adults in sub-Saharan Africa. The RISE study is part of NIH’s PATC3H Consortium. PATC3H’s primary goal is to generate the scientific innovation in effective public health interventions for 10- to 24-year-olds affected by HIV in resource-limited settings of Brazil and sub-Saharan Africa. 

The HIV status-neutral RISE intervention will be the first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa for sexual and gender minority adolescents. RISE will utilize the HealthMpowerment smartphone intervention platform created by Dr. Hightow-Weidman alongside existing strong community outreach and service efforts to increase uptake and maintenance of HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and HIV antiretroviral medication adherence.

The RISE study is a collaboration between the University of Maryland, Baltimore (Lead Investigators: Manhattan Charurat and Sylvia Adebajo), FSU (Lead Investigator: Lisa Hightow-Weidman), and partner organizations in four African countries: CIHEB Zambia, Institute of Human Virology and Centre for Population Health Initiatives (Nigeria), Partners for Health and Development in Africa (Kenya), and Centre for the Development of People (Malawi), as well as local government leaders and local community-based service providers in each partnering country.

In addition to meeting with leaders from the RISE partner organizations for a project kick-off meeting, during their visit, Dr. Hightow-Weidman and Dr. Muessig attended the International Workshop on HIV & Adolescence 2023 (hosted in Lusaka and attended by the Zambian First Lady!) and participated in site visits to community-based health clinics and community service centers in areas surrounding Lusaka. During site visits, community members and leaders shared their experiences and identified health topics of importance to them – including mental health, social support, and the ability to access tailored health and medical information via their phones.


Is On-Demand PrEP Feasible for Young Gay Men?


Young gay and bisexual men may have difficulty predicting when they’re likely to have sex, which could make it challenging to use on-demand pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), according to study findings published by IDHI in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS).

The analysis looked at a nationally recruited prospective cohort of 120 HIV-negative cisgender sexual minority men, ages 16 to 24. The participants were followed using daily digital surveys sent via text messages for eight weeks. They were asked to predict how likely they were to have anal sex over the next 24 hours (on a scale ranging from “not at all likely” to “very likely”) and then reported actual sex acts they engaged in.

“[A]n overarching interpretation of our results is that the temporal precision required by on-demand PrEP may leave many young men who have sex with men at considerable risk of HIV exposure,” they wrote in their discussion of the results. “This interpretation is reinforced by our finding that almost three quarters of sex acts were condomless and nearly one-third of sexual encounters were with an anonymous partner.”



FSU challenge spurs student-led innovation in smart home designs for aging in place


Aging in Place winning team

Florida State University students from over 30 different disciplines gathered in the Innovation Hub Friday, April 14 and Saturday, April 15 for the 24-hour Design Sprint, an intensive problem-solving session where students work in teams to develop solutions to real-world problems.

“Aging is something that we all will face, so understanding and addressing some of the common challenges that come with aging through the use of smart home technologies is an exciting area for both research and practice,” said Dr. Hightow-Weidman. “It was inspiring to see students from across FSU come together and harness their enthusiasm, creativity and innovation to tackle this challenge.”



FSU Nursing awarded $72.7M NIH grant to lead adolescent HIV clinical trial network

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Florida State University has been awarded a $72.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to redesign and improve HIV prevention and care interventions in adolescents and young adults in the United States.

Under the grant, which will be dispersed over the course of seven years, FSU will serve as the Scientific Leadership Center (SLC) for the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV Interventions.



FSU College of Nursing offers research-based Ph.D.

The Florida State University College of Nursing will introduce a new research-based doctoral degree in nursing beginning in the 2023 fall semester. While the college already offers a practice-based doctoral degree in nursing, the focus on research will be a first for the college.

“This degree will expand our impact on the State of Florida and the nation by increasing our capability to train highly qualified nurse scientists for work in academic, industry/practice and government settings,” said Jing Wang, dean of the College of Nursing.



FSU State of the University

President McCullough highlights Dr. Hightow-Weidman, Dr. Muessig, and the new Institute on Digital Health and Innovation.

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FSU experts weigh in on potential FDA change to blood donation policy

Now, several national media outlets are reporting that the FDA is considering a new strategy for screening gay and bisexual men to help combat the national blood shortage. Florida State University’s nationally recognized experts are available to provide context to reporters who are working on this story as it develops.




FSU College of Nursing to launch Institute on Digital Health and Innovation, help solve ‘real-world needs’

Two recently hired faculty members in the College of Nursing are wasting no time making their mark at Florida State University, expanding the college’s footprint through the creation of a new institute focused on the intersection of digital innovation, big data and health care.




FSU lands world-renowned research team to bolster ‘unprecedented growth’ at College of Nursing

“We are delighted to welcome these distinguished researchers to Florida State,” said Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Jim Clark. “Dr. Hightow-Weidman and Dr. Muessig have built impressive careers in the digital innovation and public health fields. As FSU continues to expand its research enterprise, particularly in health-related areas, these new faculty can help us grow while also training our students to be the researchers and practitioners of tomorrow.”