About Us


To paddle together and uniformly, either in the same or different canoes

(Native Hawaiian Word where Lau= “many or multitudes” and hoe= “to paddle” – can figuratively refer to “getting to work together”)


To develop a cadre of culturally grounded Native scholars capable of serving as PIs on extramurally funded HIV/AIDS-related prevention and disparities studies with Indigenous populations.

The Problem

Although great heterogeneity and resilience exist among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN), Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (NHPI; when both groups combined hereafter referred to as Indigenous or Native) populations across the United States (US), overall epidemiological data demonstrate these groups suffer devastating health disparities compared to other populations. They are more likely than any other group to die from chronic health conditions such as diabetes, tuberculosis, chronic liver disease, hepatitis B, and HIV/AIDS.1 As of 2011, NHPI had the fourth highest incidence and prevalence of HIV infection and AIDS just behind African American, Hispanic, and mixed race populations. AIANs bear the greatest burden of HIV-related disparities, having a shorter survival time after diagnosis compared to any other single race or ethnic group-likely reflecting disparities in access to testing, uptake, or coverage. Indigenous HIV/AIDS-related health disparities have been empirically linked to social, economic, and political inequities as well as to historical land loss, cultural devastation and a lack of access to healthy environments and health services. Despite such glaring health and HIV/AIDS-disparities, there is a paucity of culturally grounded research addressing the behavioral health concerns as well as health equity needs of AIAN and NHPI.

The Lauhoe Contribution

A strong network of highly trained and productive Indigenous scholars dedicated to research that is culturally grounded and poised to contribute to ameliorating HIV-related disparities among Indigenous populations.