A Training Program to Address Intersectional Stigma and HIV Prevention in Sexual and Gender Minority Communities

Project Funder

This project is supported by an T32 from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Project Description

NIH-funded scholarships in LGBTQ+ health for doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars in the Center

The HIV epidemic in the United States remains a critical public health concern, particularly for marginalized populations such as sexual minority men and trans people. Sexual minority men experience a disproportionate burden of HIV infection, accounting for over two-thirds of new cases. There is a profound need to design and test biobehavioral HIV prevention interventions for sexual minority men and trans people, particularly those in communities of color, using intersectional approaches. Given the high burden of intersectional stigma reported by sexual minority men and trans women of color, and its negative effects on HIV-related healthcare uptake, biobehavioral HIV prevention for sexual minority men and trans women will require intersectional stigma frameworks. Challenges associated with the creation and uptake of combination prevention responses will not be overcome unless we continue to invest in the training of new generations of scholars who are committed to ending the HIV epidemic. Refunded by NIH in 2021, this training program has been designed with the goal of providing trainees with the necessary skill sets to not only launch their careers, but also to make a substantial difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS among sexual minority men and trans women, particularly those in communities of color. This program is grounded within a leading School of Public Health, a research environment that is not only rich in terms of HIV prevention research but also has a strong tradition in LGBT health research, with robust theoretical and empirical approaches to explaining risk among sexual minority men and trans people, and a strong focus in HIV global health and biobehavioral research. This creates an ideal environment to train the next generation of prevention scientists who will address infectious disease epidemics among sexual and gender minority communities. This T32 training program, now in its 11th year, is directed by Dr. Mary Hawk, Dr. James Egan, and Dr. Mackey R. Friedman, with additional support from Dr. Charles Rinaldo.

Full scholarships are available for accepted doctoral students, including healthcare and living stipends.  Interested candidates should apply via the SOPHAS application portal (https://sophas.org/) by January 1, 2022 to the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences PhD program in the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health.

Postdoctoral candidates with an interest in HIV prevention research training among sexual minority men and trans people, particularly within communities of color, may contact Dr. Mackey R. Friedman (mrf9@pitt.edu) for more information. Funding is available for T32 postdocs consistent with NIH pay scale guidelines.