Don Operario

Professor of Behavior and Social Sciences

Phone: 401-863-6657


Don Operario joined the Brown University School of Public Health in 2008, following an appointment at the University of Oxford, and the PSTC in 2017. His research addresses two inter-related areas. The first general area concerns the social psychological determinants of HIV, sexual health, and related health issues (such as substance use, mental health) in diverse communities, with an emphasis on developing and evaluating theory-based social and behavioral interventions for members of vulnerable groups. A second research area concerns the lived experiences associated with social inequality, with an emphasis on understanding the perspectives of disadvantaged group members and addressing associated health and psychosocial disparities. He conducts research in the United States, Kenya, China, Philippines, and South Africa.

Selected Publications

Operario, D., Gamarel, K. E., Grin, B. M., Lee, J. H., Kahler, C. W., Marshall, B. D. L., van den Berg, J. J., & Zaller, N. D. (2015). Sexual minority health disparities in adult men and women in the United States: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001-2010. American Journal of Public Health, 105 (10), e27-34.

Midoun, M., Shangani, S., Mbete, B., Babu, S., Heckman, S., van der Elst, E. M., Sanders, E. J., Smith, A., & Operario, D. (2015). How intersectional constructions of sexuality, culture, and masculinity shape identities and sexual decision-making among men who have sex with men in coastal Kenya. Culture, Health, and Sexuality, 9, 1-14.

Operario, D., Wang, D., Zaller, N. D., Yang, M. F., Blaney, K., Cheng, J., Hong, Q., Zhang, H., Szekeres, G., Galea, J., & Coates, T. J. (2016). Effect of a knowledge-based and skills-based programme for physicians on risk of sexually transmitted reinfections among high-risk patients in China: A cluster randomized trial. The Lancet Global Health, 4(1):e29-36.

Poteat, T., Wirtz, A. L., Borquez, A., Silva-Santiseban, A., Deutsch, M. B., Islam Khan, S., Winter, S., & Operario, D. (2014). HIV risk and prevention interventions in transgender women sex workers. The Lancet, S01040-6737(14)6083303.


Behavioral and biomedical HIV prevention interventions, Health equity and social justice, Marginalized social identities and health, Sexual and gender minority populations