The HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) has notified Eshiemomoh Osilama, a member of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine’s MD Class of 2024, that he has been accepted to its highly competitive Research and Mentorship Program (RAMP) scholar program for African American/Black and Latinx medical students.
As just one of five RAMP Scholars, Osilama will spend 8 to 10 weeks this summer working on an HVTN research project, “Get2PrEP3.0: An Initiative to Reduce Missed Opportunities for the Provision of HIV Prevention Services for Patients Testing Positive for STIs.”
The research is taking place at Columbia University in New York City. Its goal is to work on novel ways to prevent and treat HIV infection. As part of the research unit, Osilama will have the opportunity to work with an interdisciplinary research team that includes clinician-scientists, epidemiologists, social scientists and community outreach. This project aims to improve the provision of HIV prevention services for patients who test positive for sexually transmitted infections and those at risk of HIV infection. Osilama’s work will include chart review and data abstraction to identify the provision of HIV prevention services and communication with providers as part of delivering the intervention, data analysis, and report of outcomes including rates of PrEP prescriptions and referrals. The project is intended to yield a research paper for a peer-reviewed journal.
“I am so honored to have been selected for the program,” Osilama said. "I do believe, in many ways, who I am, at this particular stage in my life, represents the face of HIV in this country and across the globe. I have firsthand understanding of the nuanced ways the lifestyles and cultures of queer people, people of color and immigrants are hyper- (or hypo-) medicalized. Although I am not yet sure what type of medicine I want to go into, I believe that RAMP will expose me to how the different components of medicine and research function together for the overall wellness of a patient or a community. The underrepresentation of queer people and POCs in medicine functions as an added barrier to providing adequate care to those individuals. For this reason, I believe it is especially important that I proactively engage opportunities with implications that serve those communities directly. In this way, RAMP would serve as a foundation for me to integrate my personal identities with my role as a scientist and physician in the future."