Message from the Director
The Center for Research on U.S. Latino HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse (CRUSADA), which houses with the recently funded NIMHD P20 Center of Excellence titled Center for Substance Use and AIDS Research on Latinos in the United States (C-SALUD), continues to address the twin epidemics of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS in Latino communities throughout southern Florida. The Center is uniquely positioned to advance our understanding of these growing problems because of its geographical location and its association with Florida International University (FIU), one of the twenty-five largest universities in the country and the largest Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in the mainland United States. CRUSADA's association with FIU also provides an exceptional opportunity to translate research results into best-practice models that could be utilized by community-based agencies to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse.
As a National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) P-20 Center of Excellence, C-SALUD provides a significant opportunity for FIU to move to the forefront of research on health disparities in immigrant populations. The combined efforts of C-SALUD and CRUSADA will continue researching the critically understudied issues of Latino HIV/AIDS and substance abuse.
CRUSADA's considerable experience in the areas of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS is the foundation by which we develop research focusing on health disparities and issues (e.g., access to health care) confronted by Latinos, as well as other emerging immigrant populations. The multidisciplinary and community based research and training approaches established by CRUSADA shed light on the underlying individual, family, and community factors that influence the spread of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse among Latinos in South Florida. In this regard, the staff, faculty, and students affiliated with the Center will continue to work diligently to develop more effective interventions so that the prevalence of the twin epidemics of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS can be reduced, making significant contributions towards improving the health status of immigrant populations in the coming years; The primary aim of CRUSADA is to help reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse in Latino communities.
CRUSADA aspires to become the top Latino HIV/AIDS and substance abuse research center in the nation. As one of only a score of NIH-funded centers in these areas of health, we are making strides towards reaching this goal. I invite you to learn more about our Center through this website.
Mario De La Rosa, Ph.D.
Director, Principal Investigator,
Center for Research on U.S. Latino
HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse (CRUSADA)