The American Academy of HIV Medicine Announces Fellowship to Improve HIV Prevention and PrEP Access

The American Academy of HIV Medicine Announces Fellowship to Improve HIV Prevention and PrEP Access

Washington, D.C.: The American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM) yesterday announced the Dr. Dawn K. Smith HIV Prevention Clinical Fellowship, funded by a grant through ViiV Healthcare. The fellowship will provide comprehensive HIV prevention training for non-infectious disease clinicians and will focus efforts in communities disproportionately affected by HIV.

“The Academy is committed to working toward ending the HIV epidemic, and broadly employing the full scale of our prevention options plays a critical part in that,” says Bruce J. Packett, II, Executive Director of AAHIVM. “Unfortunately, communities of color and other populations in certain parts of the country who have faced systemic barriers to care often lack access to providers who are trained in HIV prevention. The Dr. Dawn K. Smith HIV Prevention Clinical Fellowship aims to overcome some of those barriers to care by training health care providers who may be new to infectious disease or HIV and who practice medicine in underserved communities.”

The Academy will leverage its member base of highly experienced HIV clinicians, researchers, and educators to train fellows in the latest science and practice of HIV prevention, focusing on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP – a medication to prevent HIV – is exceedingly effective when taken as prescribed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PrEP can reduce the risk of HIV from sex by approximately 99 percent and from injection drug use by about 74 percent.1 Although PrEP is a key tool in HIV prevention, recent data shows that there are significant disparities in its use, especially in the Southern region of the United States. Research indicates that, in the South, Black people comprised 48 percent of those who were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2021, but only about 21 percent of Black people were prescribed PrEP at that time.2

“This fellowship will help focus training and resources in the areas that stand to make the biggest impact in changing the trajectory of the HIV epidemic,” says Kimberly Smith, MD, MPH, Head of Research and Development at ViiV Healthcare. “Dr. Dawn K Smith was a mentor to me and many researchers, providers and advocates who seek to address disparities in HIV incidence and address HIV prevention in communities of color particularly for women. A fellowship that focuses on training future leaders in this field is a fitting tribute to recognize her many contributions. The American Academy of HIV Medicine is the perfect organization to help equitably connect the community to preventative care, and ViiV Healthcare is pleased to support such an important program that will bring us closer to ending the HIV epidemic.”

The fellowship is a 12-month clinical program designed for clinicians in primary care, family medicine, emergency medicine, pharmacy, obstetrics and gynecology, and more. Clinicians who qualify include physicians, physician assistants/physician associates, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists. The Academy will prioritize applicants who will serve in under-resourced areas, especially in the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic jurisdictions in the South. Fellows will perform a mix of clinical work, self and collaborative study, didactics, teaching, and quality improvement activities as well as will access online tools and attend conferences. The fellows will also receive a stipend to support the development of a PrEP clinic in their own practices.

The program honors the legacy of Dawn K. Smith, MD, MS, MPH, a champion of health equity and HIV prevention. Dr. Smith played an integral role in the development and implementation of HIV PrEP and studied the disproportionate affect HIV has on underrepresented communities. Throughout her career, she worked to eliminate health disparities and was committed to ensuring that all people had PrEP access. The Dr. Dawn K. Smith HIV Prevention Clinical Fellowship pays tribute to Dr. Smith’s extraordinary contributions to HIV prevention by training a new generation of clinicians in PrEP and HIV prevention.

Applications for the Dr. Dawn K. Smith HIV Clinical Fellowship are open to clinicians licensed to practice in the United States and can be submitted at: The deadline for application is May 15, 2024, and the program will begin in the fall of 2024.


About The American Academy of HIV Medicine
The American Academy of HIV Medicine is the nation’s leading independent organization of health care professionals dedicated to providing excellence in HIV care and prevention. The Academy’s mission is to ensure health care professionals have the resources needed to provide prevention, treatment and care for those with or at risk for HIV and related conditions to achieve optimal health.

About ViiV Healthcare
ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GSK (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV and for people who are at risk of acquiring HIV. Shionogi became a ViiV shareholder in October 2012. The company’s aims are to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV and AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and innovative medicines for HIV treatment and prevention, as well as support communities affected by HIV.


1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Updated July 5, 2022. Accessed February 24, 2024.
2. AIDSVu. AIDSVu Releases New Data Highlighting Ongoing Inequities in PrEP Use among Black and Hispanic People and across Regions of the Country. Published June 21, 2023. Accessed February 24, 2024.,18%25%20of%20new%20HIV%20diagnoses