Study Team

Parya Saberi, PharmD, MAS, AAHIVP
Principal Investigator


Parya Saberi is an Assistant Professor at the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS). She is also an HIV Clinical Pharmacist at Ward 86 (Positive Health Program) at San Francisco General Hospital. Dr. Saberi is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health through a K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award. Her current area of research includes adapting technology-based strategies to improve antiretroviral adherence and engagement in HIV Care among HIV-positive youth. These methods include social networking technologies, video-conferencing tools, and text messaging. Additionally, she is involved in the development of an index of engagement in HIV care as well as research regarding retention and adherence to HIV care in South Africa.



Xavier A. Erguera
Research Coordinator


Xavier A. Erguera is a Research Coordinator at the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS). He received his BA from UC Berkeley in Linguistics. He is trained in qualitative research methods and brings almost 10 years of experience providing sexual health education, prevention counseling, and supporting research projects working with adolescents and young adults in both clinical and community-based settings in San Francisco and the East Bay.


Mallory Johnson, PhD



Mallory Johnson is a Professor at the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) and a licensed clinical health psychologist, whose research has focused on understanding, measuring, and improving the health of patients with chronic diseases such as HIV. Over the past decade, he has developed a thriving program of multidisciplinary collaborative research focused on improving HIV treatment outcomes through patient empowerment. He has collaborated on, developed, and led studies that address the intersection of psychological health and medical care and their entwined impact on health outcomes. His multidisciplinary work brings together expertise in medicine, nursing, psychology, and anthropology.





Neilands, PhD


Tor Neilands is a Professor at the UCSF Center for AIDS Preventions Studies (CAPS) in the Department of Medicine at UCSF and directs the Center's Methods Core. Originally trained as a social psychologist, he spent eight years as a statistical consultant at the University of Texas academic computing before coming to CAPS in 2001. At CAPS he has participated as statistical co-investigator or consultant on over 50 NIH, CDC and state projects in the areas of HIV prevention, reproductive health, and tobacco prevention.



Ted Ruel, MD


Ted Ruel is Professor is an assistant professor of pediatrics at UCSF School of Medicine. Ruel earned a medical degree at Yale University School of Medicine and served as chief resident during a pediatric residency at UCSF, where he also completed a fellowship in infectious disease. Currently, he serves as a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. He also serves as a pediatric hospitalist working with adolescents and young adults living with HIV at San Francisco General Hospital. In his research, Ruel studies HIV in African children focusing on factors that affect disease progression and the response to antiretroviral therapy.




Project Stakeholders

Youth Advisory Panel
Community Stakeholders


The Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) is a research-focused community advisory group comprised of adolescents and young adults living with HIV who reside within the greater SF bay area. In this project, they provided critical insights into the priorities and preferences of YLWH with regards to a mobile health application for engagement in care and antiretroviral adherence. They also served as field test participants to help identify any glitches and identify functions that needed further refinement.



SOM Tech
Health Tech Consultants


SOM Tech is a recharge organization in the School of Medicine (SOM) Dean’s office and specializes in the design and development of innovative digital healthcare solutions. In this project they provided leadership, advocacy, and management at every stage of the process – from initial consultation through discovery and finally development. They also lead the migration of the existing backend (Redcap) to a new backend (Salesforce), including setting-up and customized the new backend to work with our existing iOS prototype.


Mobile App Development


Wolox is a software company that specializes in providing technological-solutions to projects seeking to innovate and provides support in developing these ideas into functional products. In this project they helped optimize the user experience (UX) of our existing iOS prototype and translated the existing design to be compatible with an Android platform. They also lead the coding and development of the mobile health application user interface (UI).