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Research Initiative on Infectious Disease and Substance Use (RIIS)

Logo of the RIIS ProgramThe Research Initiative on Infectious Disease and Substance Use (RIIS) is a unique Baltimore and DC community-based clinical care and research program with the primary purpose to explore the intersection of infections and substance use in marginalized populations.

The goal of RIIS is to eliminate health disparities and treat HIV, hepatitis C, and substance abuse of opioids, tobacco, and methamphetamines. RIIS grew out of the DC Partnership for HIV/AIDS Progress (PFAP), a local-federal partnership funded by the NIH Office of AIDS Research and established in 2009 to support multidisciplinary research efforts in response to HIV in the region.

RIIS investigators learn about high-risk populations and barriers to care, assessing patient-centered interventions to improve care delivery, and facilitate translational research in conjunction with clinical work.


Partnership Sites

Unity Healthcare in Washington, DC

DC Capitol buildingFederally qualified safety net clinic caring for primarily Medicaid population. We provide diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of hepatitis C virus, and care coordination with additional specialty services as needed.

HIPS Clinic in Washington DC

A syringe service program and drop-in center targeting people who inject drugs, people engaging in transactional sex, those experiencing homelessness, transgender individuals, and other marginalized populations. We provide diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment for hepatitis C opioid use disorder, HIV, hepatitis B, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), sexually transmitted infections, gender-affirming hormone therapy, tobacco use disorder, as well care coordination for psychiatric disorders.

Healing and Recovery Practice (HARP)

A certified opioid treatment program providing methadone, buprenorphine, and other addictions services targeting people who use drugs, with an integrated clinic providing primary care, infectious disease care, and harm reduction. We provide diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment for hepatitis C, HIV, hepatitis B, PrEP, and wound care.

Buprenorphine Mobile Telemedicine Unit in Caroline County, MD

Truck that treats people with addiction in Caroline CountyA University of Maryland Department of Psychiatry-led initiative to extend opioid treatment into underserved rural areas through a collaboration with the Caroline County Health Department, in which patients are seen on a mobile van with an onboard telemedicine unit. We currently provide opioid use disorder diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment with buprenorphine, with integrated hepatitis C and HIV testing and care.


Core Faculty and Staff Clinical and Research Interests

Clinical Division Faculty and Staff

In addition to the general areas of HIV, HIV prevention, hepatitis C, and infections in substance use disorders, RIIS staff have the following areas of interest:

Sarah Kattakuzhy, MD
Baltimore RIIS Director
Clinical and research interests: Medical education, telemedicine for combining medical care needs, methamphetamine use disorder

Elana Rosenthal, MD
Washington RIIS DC Director
Clinical and research interests: Methamphetamine use disorder and gender-affirming hormone therapy

Amelia Cover, CRNP, AAHIVS
Clinical and research interests: Transactional sex

Ashley Davis, MSN, CARN-AP, FNP-C
Clinical and research interests: Tobacco use disorder and PrEP

Shivakumar Narayanan, MBBS, MD
Clinical and research interests: Outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy

Collaborating RIIS Providers

Max Spaderna, MD (Psychiatry)
Clinical and research interests: Mental health co-occurring with opioid use disorder, suicide