Research

Our research is driven by the need to better understand the health disparities faced by LGBTQ+ and HIV-affected people.

Based on the lived experiences of our study participants and in collaboration with colleagues from UCSF, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and other local and national peer organizations, AHP researchers contribute to the development of new understandings of the health challenges and resilience of LGBTQ+ individuals and people living with or at risk for HIV.

With the generous response of community members and collaborators, we gain a deeper and richer understanding of the lives of LGBTQ+ and HIV-affected people and can develop evidence-based treatments to improve the health of our communities.

People




James W. Dilley, MD, Executive Director 
Pronouns: he, him, his
Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

Dr. Dilley was the first psychiatrist specifically hired to treat AIDS patients at San Francisco General Hospital, one of the pioneering and leading hospitals for HIV-related care in the world. He has served as the Executive Director of the Alliance Health Project (AHP), San Francisco’s leading LGBTQ+ and HIV-related mental health program since 1984, and as Chief of the Department of Psychiatry at San Francisco General Hospital and Vice-Chair of the UCSF Department of Psychiatry between 2007 and 2018. He is the author or editor of several key articles and anthologies on HIV-related counseling and mental health issues and has consulted internationally about HIV prevention. Much of Dr. Dilley’s research has focused on advancing HIV prevention counseling and HIV testing with funding from the National Institutes of Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health and the Centers for Disease Control. He led the development of community-based HIV test sites that included basic prevention counseling in 1985 and, at AHP, opened the first large-scale counseling and testing program anywhere in the world. Based on AHP’s HIV counseling and testing program, he and his co-investigators also developed Personalized Cognitive Counseling, an HIV risk reduction counseling approach endorsed by the CDC.  Dr. Dilley has received a number of awards for his work including the American Psychiatric Association’s 2016 Adolf Meyer Award in recognition of his “excellent work in psychiatric research.”

After entering semi-retirement in 2018, Dr. Dilley continues to work part-time, as the Executive Director of the Alliance Health Project and as Co-Director of the UCSF Public Psychiatry Fellowship Program, a teaching program he co-founded in 2011. 
 

Annesa Flentje, PhD
Pronouns: she, her, hers

Associate Professor at UCSF Community Health Systems in the School of Nursing and the
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

Dr. Flentje is Associate Professor of Research at the Alliance Health Project. She is a clinical psychologist who focuses on reducing health disparities among sexual and gender minority individuals. Her research has targeted multiple ways to reduce these disparities including prevention, increasing visibility of sexual and gender minorities in research and electronic health records, and improving mental health services for sexual and gender minorities. She has developed an individually delivered psychotherapeutic intervention to reduce sexual minority stress and is investigating this as a means to improve both health and mental health outcomes for sexual minorities. Annesa is investigating the underlying physiological pathways whereby stress and discrimination are related to deleterious health outcomes among sexual and gender minority people.

To learn more about Annesa’s projects:
Sexual and Gender Minority Health Equity Lab
The Pride Study
Sexual and Gender Minority Health
 

Martha Shumway, PhD
Pronouns: she, her, hers
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

Dr. Shumway holds a doctorate in quantitative psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked in mental health services research for more than thirty years, studying services for underserved populations, with a focus on measurement and methodology. She has collaborated with AHP on a variety of studies, including NIMH-funded studies of Personalized Cognitive Counseling, a study developing nanotextured condoms, and a study of a wellness intervention for sexual minority women. With others at AHP, she is currently collaborating on a PCORI-funded capacity-building project focused on evidence-based PTSD interventions in LGBTQ+ mental health clinics.
 



Hannah Bosley, MA
Pronouns: she, her, hers
Fellow, UCSF Clinical Psychology Training Program, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

Broadly, Hannah is involved in clinical work and academic research to support sexual and gender minority individuals in changing unwanted behavior patterns. Her research uses person-specific statistical modeling techniques to examine individuals’ unique patterns in thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. The goal of this research is to develop personalized intervention strategies to help individuals reduce unwanted behaviors such as substance use. Hannah is currently working on a project to examine person-specific individual factors that contribute to cannabis use within sexual and gender minority communities.