SUNY Downstate’s STAR Program Receives $1.9 Million to Expand HIV Prevention Services

Aug 8, 2016

Brooklyn, NY – SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University’s Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Program has been awarded $1.9 million in new grant funding from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide enhanced HIV prevention services throughout Brooklyn using the latest biomedical tools, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV (PEP). 

PrEP is a relatively new HIV prevention strategy in which an HIV-negative person takes a daily pill to reduce the risk for acquiring HIV, while PEP is a strategy to prevent HIV infection after a possible recent exposure by taking HIV medications within 3 days after a single high-risk event.

“PrEP and PEP are effective tools to prevent HIV infection and these new funds will allow us to expand access to them in Brooklyn’s high prevalence communities,” said Distinguished Service Professor Jack DeHovitz, MD, MPH, FACP, director of the STAR Program.

The program was awarded $750,000 over three years to provide “Evidence-Based Interventions for Biomedical Prevention in Clinical Settings” via PrEP through education, care coordination, prevention navigation, and clinical care.  An award of $759,000 over three years will establish a Center of Excellence (COE) to provide PEP.  A third three-year award of $399,531 will enable STAR to establish a Status-Neutral Care Coordination Program, to provide care coordination services to HIV-negative individuals at risk for HIV infection.

The new projects will be spearheaded by Elliot DeHaan, MD, director of Hepatitis C (HCV) services at STAR.  Dr. DeHaan has played a pivotal role in the development of prevention and treatment services for HIV and HCV as well as providing leadership to the development of the Star Health Center’s LGBT Health Initiative. 

The STAR Health Center, SUNY Downstate’s outpatient primary care clinic for adults with or at risk for HIV, provides multiple evidence-based HIV prevention interventions on-site and in the community, including PrEP and PEP.  Additional interventions include substance abuse treatment and screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

For further information regarding the new services, please contact Tracey Griffith, MHA, program manager, at 718-270-1715 or



About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn is one of four academic health centers (AMCs) in The State University of New York (SUNY) 64-campus system and the only SUNY AMC in New York City dedicated to health education, research, and patient care for the borough’s 2.7 million residents. Its flagship hospital, University Hospital at Downstate (UHD), is a teaching hospital and benefits from the expertise of Downstate’s exceptional medical school and world-class academic center research facilities. With a staff of over 800 physicians representing 53 specialties and subspecialties, Downstate offers comprehensive healthcare services to the community.

UHD provides high-risk neonatal and infant services, pediatric nephrology, and dialysis for kidney diseases and is the only kidney transplantation program in Brooklyn. Beyond its clinical expertise, Downstate houses a range of esteemed educational institutions, including its College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, School of Graduate Studies, and School of Public Health. Downstate fosters innovation through its multifaceted biotechnology initiative, the Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT, which support early-stage and more mature biotech companies.