Call For Abstracts


Call for Abstracts for The Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved

If you are interested in submitting an abstract and would like to sit with a COMPASS staff member, please select a timeslot for a 30-minute Technical Assistance (TA) Session to assist with the submission of your abstract. Dates are all on July 14th (10-1) and July 19th (3-6) : Complete Sign-Up

The Gilead COMPASS Initiative® invites abstracts for papers to be included in a supplemental issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (JHCPU) to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the 10-year initiative. The Gilead COMPASS Initiative® addresses the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Southern United States by collaborating with local community organizations and stakeholders to use grassroots and evidence-based solutions to meet the needs of people living with and impacted by HIV/AIDS. We wanted to share this  exciting opportunity so you could  share the impact of your work!

We invite COMPASS partners (past and present), COMPASS Coordinating Centers, Southern HIV Impact Fund (SHIF), GLAAD, ETR, and funded partners and colleagues to submit abstracts to the JHCPU supplemental issue on the Gilead COMPASS Initiative. We are seeking abstracts that share stories and/or research articles of the work supported by the Gilead COMPASS Initiative. Please note that this call for abstracts is only open to COMPASS partners as outlined above.

The purpose of the supplemental issue is to highlight the impact, lessons learned, and community-based programs and interventions supported by the Gilead COMPASS Initiative. This supplemental issue will be open access, meaning that everyone will have access to it for free! We seek abstracts that address HIV stigma, access to care, trauma-informed care and harm reduction approaches, substance use, advocacy, telehealth, organizational capacity-building, movement and coalition building, and faith-based initiatives based in the Southern United States (AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV, and the District of Columbia). All abstracts will be reviewed and 50 will be invited to submit full papers (see details below). Published articles will provide a way to exchange ideas and highlight best practices, grassroots programs and innovative ideas. The purpose is also to highlight the COMPASS Initiative’s approach to funding, which centers grassroots Black and Latinx-led organizations in the U.S. South focused on addressing the HIV epidemic.

Watch this introductory webinar, hosted by the COMPASS Team, to learn more about this opportunity: watch now

As you write your abstract, please keep the 10 Year COMPASS goals and values in mind:

  • Improve access to and quality of health care services for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in the South
    Increase access to stigma-free care that incorporates wellness, mental health, trauma-informed care and substance use/harm reduction approaches, and is backed by a sustainable infrastructure to ensure longevity
  • Increase local leadership and advocacy in the South
    Build a robust network of strong local leadership for advocacy focused on resource allocation and evidence-based policies to address HIV/AIDS in the Southern United States
  • Change public perception of HIV/AIDS in the South
    Create strategic communication campaigns that resonate with residents in the South to counter fear-based stigma and educate local leaders to support policy changes that better support the needs of PLWHA

The four COMPASS Coordinating Centers, the Southern HIV Impact Fund (SHIF), GLAAD, and our evaluation partner ETR are committed to reflecting the shared values (linked below) through our implementation of this initiative and will favor abstracts  that reflect Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (MIPA); Intersectionality emphasizing Racial and Social Justice; Openness, Transparency and Learning; Collaboration and Commitment, and Holistic Approaches. More information and a detailed description of the COMPASS shared values, mission and vision can be found here. The Southern HIV Impact Fund has an additional value and commitment to address social injustices from an intersectional approach.


Submission Process

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 2:59 AM CST, 3:59 AM EST on July 30, 2022 (11:59PM PST on July 29, 2022).

All abstracts should be emailed to

This submission process will be carried out in two steps.

First Step: 
We invite you to share an abstract. An abstract is a summary of the project that includes the purpose, a brief description, methods (if applicable), outcomes associated with the project, and impact or implications of the project for future work.

Second Step:
A committee will review and score the abstract submissions. The top 50 abstract submissions with the highest scores will receive an invitation by mid-August to submit a completed paper for consideration to the Journal no later than October 1, 2022. Approximately 20 of the papers submitted for the supplemental issue will be accepted and published. The estimated 30 papers not selected to be published  will be highlighted in other ways (i.e., published on the COMPASS Initiative website and/or submitted to conferences for presentation).


Description of Abstracts

Abstracts must be:

• In English,
• Up to 250 words in length,
• Have no more than ten authors,
• A summary of the project that includes:

• The purpose, a brief description,
• Methods (if applicable),
• Outcomes associated with the project,
• Impact or implications of the project for future work, and

• Sufficiently detailed for reviewers to evaluate the proposed paper in an informed way.

Authors should include, in addition to the abstract, a list of no fewer than five key words or phrases important for the proposed paper to help readers identify the main topics and content of your paper. For example, if your abstract is about the prevalence of housing insecurity in Southern cities, your key words could be homelessness, housing insecurity, poverty, employment, and housing.

The authors must also include a cover letter, in which they supply the names, degrees, community leadership roles and affiliations of the authors, as well as any information they think is important for the Guest Editors to know.

You may also review these sample abstracts for ideas on how to write an abstract

• Sample Abstract: Reports from the Field
• Sample Abstract: Brief Communication
• Sample Abstract: Commentary
• Sample Abstract: Original Research Paper
• Sample Cover Letters: Option 1, Option 2


Additional Considerations

• Abstracts/articles can include co-authors from multiple organizations.

• Anyone working on an abstract/article who provided support or information for the publication can be listed as a co-author (e.g., organization staff members, evaluators, consultants, COMPASS staff, students, volunteers, etc.).

• Authorship should prioritize the staff at the submitting community-based organization over others listed for co-authorship.

• For abstracts/articles that showcase specific interventions, the funding source (e.g., name of the grant and the entity from which it was received) for the project should be acknowledged.

• Ideas for abstracts can be generated by reviewing previously submitted program evaluation reports, organization features in news and magazine articles, previously submitted blogs, editorials, conference presentation abstracts, and other documents highlighting the importance of community-based work.

We encourage submissions for the following article types. See the Information for Authors document for descriptions of different article types to submit to the journal:

• Reports from the field
• Original Research
• Brief Communications
• Commentaries
• Heroes and Great Ideas Columns



These abstracts will be reviewed by a committee with expertise in HIV, community-based initiatives, and other focus area topics. Abstracts will be scored on the following criteria:

• Relevance for underserved populations.
• Relevance to the topics suggested by the overview below.
• Clarity of presentation.
• Evidence that the authors are knowledgeable about existing scholarship on the topic they address (for research papers and literature reviews only).
• Relevance to addressing HIV and AIDS in the US South.
• Relevance to the Gilead COMPASS Initiative.
• Demonstrate how the project aligns with guiding principles/values of Gilead COMPASS Initiative.
• How the project advances 10 year goals of the COMPASS Initiative.


Overview of Issue

The topics we hope to see addressed in submitted abstracts include the following:

• Program evaluation
• Lessons learned
• Best practices
• Faith-based initiatives to address HIV
• Capacity building of organizations to become sustainable
• Addressing HIV stigma
• Innovative use of technologies and interventions
• Adapting interventions for new places/populations
• Integrating trauma informed care practices into organizational structure
• Integrating harm reduction practices into organizational structure
• Addressing the intersections of:

• Mental health and HIV
• Substance use, harm reduction, and HIV
• Faith and HIV
• Reproductive Wellness and HIV

• HIV advocacy
• Developing and implementing HIV campaigns, communications strategies
• Principles of social justice in grant making
• Telehealth
• Meaningful involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (MIPHA)
• COVID-19 service adaptation and awareness
• Leveraging small grants to get larger funding opportunities to advance HIV care and prevention
• Best practices in language justice (accessibility, multilingual communication, etc.)
• Collaborations and partnerships to advance health and justice
• Policy and Movement Building
• Addressing Digital Insecurity in the South
• Digital strategies to combat Stigma

Please note that the Gilead COMPASS Initiative recognizes the amount of work it takes to prepare abstracts and manuscripts to academic journals. To honor your time, we will work to highlight all manuscripts submitted on COMPASS communication channels (e.g., blog on website, abstract submission to conference, etc.) regardless of whether or not it was selected for journal publication.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Gilead COMPASS Initiative®?
The Gilead COMPASS Initiative® (COMmitment to Partnership in Addressing HIV in Southern States) is a 10-year, $100+ million partnership with community-based organizations working to combat the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States.  This work happens through grantmaking and capacity building through the Coordinating Centers – Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Southern AIDS Coalition, University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, and Wake Forest University School of Divinity; the Southern HIV Impact Fund; and Gilead direct giving.

What are the benefits of being published in the journal? 

  • Sharing the outcomes of your organization’s programs, interventions, methods or practices will allow you to have influence on how a broader audience can better engage and implement effective policies, programs and interventions for HIV in the Southern US.
  • Publishing in a journal is also a great means for you to continue to become known as a subject matter expert in your field as others are exposed to your work.
  • Publishing can raise your profile among potential funders and build credibility for your work.
  • Sharing your practices, methods and strategies can contribute to the body of knowledge and practices for the community and make your work more accessible.

This Supplemental Issue will be Open Access. What does Open Access mean?
Academic journal articles often cost money to access.  Individuals who are affiliated with an institution, such as a college or university, often have access to academic articles through their college or university library. However, this also means that most academic articles are not accessible to the general public.  Open Access articles are available for anyone to read and download without such associated costs.  The entire Special Issue on COMPASS will be made open access and available to the public for free.

How do I generate good ideas for writing an abstract?·

  • Start with ideas and best practices identified in your current work that have made an impact in your community. Consider evaluation reports submitted to funders that highlighted exceptional service or accomplishments that you would like to feature.
  • Organization annual reports may be a good source for generating abstract ideas.
  • Consider programs or topics you may have presented at past conferences, or topics that you have been asked to present on as an expert at meetings by special request.
  • Has your organization been featured in news and magazine articles?  Have you submitted blogs, editorials, or white papers highlighting the importance of community-based work? Each of these can be good sources of material for a publication.

Can I partner with another organization on an abstract?
Yes.  You can partner with another organization, your funder, or anyone else that you think would like to support your work. If you decide to partner, make sure that everyone who works on your abstract and publication is listed as a co-author so that everyone gets credit for their work.  

Additional information on authorship is included in the supplemental materials.  Be sure to list yourself (if you are the lead) as the first author, and others that support your work as co-authors.  Often, the order of listing authors is based on contribution to the work.

What are tips for writing a good manuscript?
See the attached Information for Authors for ideas of writing a good manuscript.

Will all abstracts submitted be accepted for publication?
Unfortunately, not all abstracts will be asked to submit a formal article for publication. COMPASS is looking into highlighting the submissions not accepted by the journal. More information to come.

Is there any assistance available for the process?
Yes! The COMPASS Initiative team will host 1 webinar and additional TA sessions.

• The first will be an introductory webinar that will provide additional detail about the call for abstracts, and will walk potential writers through the call for abstracts, the “JHCPU Information for Authors” document, and share a few best practices for submitting an abstract.  This webinar will be recorded. Watch webinar recording.

On July 14th and 19th, the COMPASS team will host individualized sessions that will allow writers to receive feedback and/or technical assistance on their abstract.  TA sessions are available on a first come, first served basis.  If interested in scheduling a TA session, click  SIGN UP FOR TA SESSION.  A zoom link will be sent to you no less than 48-hours prior to your scheduled session, with instructions for submitting a draft of the document being reviewed.

If your abstract is selected to submit a full article for consideration to publish in the special issue, there will be additional consultation available to support the final submission.

Additional support will be provided by the staff at each COMPASS site (SHIF, Wake Forest, SAC, Emory and University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work).  If currently funded, please contact your project officer/CC contact for more information about individual support or TA.  If not currently funded, please contact for more information

You may also review these sample abstracts for ideas on how to write an abstract

• Sample Abstract: Reports from the Field
• Sample Abstract: Brief Communication
• Sample Abstract: Commentary
• Sample Abstract: Original Research Paper

Are extensions to the submission date for abstracts possible?
No, unfortunately the timeline is very narrow for publication of this special issue so extensions will not be feasible

Who do I contact if I have any questions?
For more information about this opportunity, visit the Gilead COMPASS Website at to access a number of tools prepared to assist with this project, or email


Partner Logos

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