Robert Mapplethorpe Research Program

ACRIA’s Robert Mapplethorpe Research Program began in 2003 to address the fact that little was known, or was being asked, about the burgeoning population of older people with HIV. Today, ACRIA is a recognized global authority and resource on HIV and aging, fielding a dynamic team of scientists who are leading research on a host of HIV-related issues.

First among the program’s many publications and accomplishments is its groundbreaking Research on Older Adults with HIV (ROAH) study, the largest ever conducted on older adults with HIV. With a nearly 1,000-person cohort in New York City, the study examined a comprehensive array of issues, including health status, stigma, substance use, depression, social networks, and spirituality. ROAH is unique in the kinds of questions it asked, for the first time probing in depth the sexual and drug-taking risk behaviors of older people with HIV, as well as gathering data on medical and psychosocial issues. ROAH received global coverage in hundreds of print media, radio, and TV outlets, including AP, UPI, BBC, The New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times, NPR, CBS, Newsweek, and Time, among many others.

The publication of this seminal work resulted in a number of research partnerships with groups across the U.S. and around the globe, including the Terrance Higgins Trust and Chelsea-Westminster Hospital in the U.K., the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the American Gerontological Society, the Center on Halsted in Chicago, Syracuse University and Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) in New York City, as well as organizations in Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, Uganda, and South Africa. In addition, ACRIA has conducted research with and consulted for leading organization such as UNAIDS, the UN Committee on Aging, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Institutes of Health. ACRIA has also collaborated with a number of academic partners, including the University of Chicago, Fordham University, New York University, the University of Alabama, Indiana University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the City University of New York.

More than a decade later after the first ROAH study, ACRIA embarked on an ambitious follow-up. The newly formed ACRIA Center for HIV and Aging at GMHC launched ROAH 2.0 and issued its first report, focusing on the epidemic in San Francisco, in October 2018. The full ROAH 2.0 study will also include nearly 3,000 older adults living with HIV in sites across the country including New York City, Upstate New York, Chicago, and Alameda County (CA).

ACRIA’s applied and translational research has been published in leading HIV/AIDS and aging journals and featured in invited lectures, and conference workshops and symposia, including:

  • International AIDS Conference
  • U.S. Conference on AIDS
  • Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America
  • Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association
  • Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association

ACRIA’s research team is available for consultation on substantive issues affecting people aging with HIV. For more information, please email