CHER Lecture Series 2017-2018

Thursday, January 18, 2018
2:00-3:00 p.m.
121 South Main Street, Room 245

Project DASH (Divas Against the Spread of HIV/AIDS): Results of a Pilot Study on HIV Risk and Mother-Daughter Communication Among African American Daughters with HIV+ Mothers

Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha, PhD, MPH, CHES
Assistant Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine

Background: African Americans account for 12 percent of the United States population overall. In 2013, they accounted for close to two-thirds (63%) of all new HIV infections among women. The objective of this pilot study is to examine the relationship and communications of HIV+ women and their daughters with regard to future HIV risk and sexual behaviors of the daughters.

Methods: The study utilized a mixed-methods approach in which structured interviews and cross sectional surveys were used. The total number of participants (n=74) included mothers and daughters, who completed demographic surveys (n= 51 mothers and 23 daughters) and a subset of mothers and daughters who completed in-depth interviews (n=15 mothers and 15 daughters). Dr. Amutah-Onukagha plans to present mostly the qualitative interview results.

Results: Data indicated that 58 percent of the mothers reported being "quite close" with their daughters. In addition, more than two-thirds (68.3%) responded as "strongly agreed" to being satisfied with communication with their daughters. The results were similar to those of the daughters, in which 65 percent indicated they were extremely close to their mothers, 70 percent reported they could count on their mothers, and 65 percent reported liking the relationship they have with their mother.

Conclusion: Findings from this study have the potential to guide the development of a larger study to: 1) elucidate elements of the mother-daughter relationship, in the context of HIV+ mothers, that can protect females against sexual behaviors and HIV risk, 2) develop interventions specifically targeting mother-daughter sexual communication to reduce HIV risk for the daughter. 

Dr. Amutah-Onukagha's current research interests include health disparities, reproductive health, infant mortality and HIV/AIDS in ethnic minority populations. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist, and has worked as a researcher in community-based research settings in a variety of areas, including maternal and child health, health disparities, and HIV/AIDS.

Thursday, October 12, 2017
3:00-4:00 p.m.
121 South Main Street, Room 245

Advancing HIV Prevention Among Men who Have Sex With Men in India: Cultural Approaches, Contextual Challenges and New Strategies

Beena Thomas, PhD
Deputy Director (Social Scientist) & Head for the Department of Social and Behavioral Research, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Indian Council of Medical Research

Dr. Thomas heads the Department of Social and Behavioral Research at the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) in Chennai, India. In addition to working on many behavioral studies on tuberculosis, she has collaborated with colleagues at Brown University and Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital on epidemiological and intervention development/testing studies related to HIV prevention and mental health.

Dr. Thomas was the India PI of three joint Indo-U.S. ICMR/ NIH R21s. The first was to develop a psychosocial intervention to address and reduce HIV risk in Indian men who have sex with men (MSM) in Chennai (US PI: Dr. Steve Safren). The second was a study examining a community-based approach for designing an HIV/AIDS program for HIV-positive mothers in India (US PI: Dr. Adeline Nyamathi). And lastly, the third study was to fully develop and test a culturally relevant, theory-based HIV risk reduction intervention using mobile phone technology for male sex workers in Chennai (US PI: Dr. Matthew Mimiaga). In addition, Dr. Thomas is the India site PI of an NIMH R01, testing the efficacy of a behavioral intervention to foster resilience to psychosocial and HIV risk among Indian MSM in Chennai and Mumbai (US MPIs: Drs. Steven Safren and Matthew Mimiaga).

Dr. Thomas's talk will emphasize cultural approaches, contextual challenges and new strategies for engaging sexual and gender minority individuals in HIV prevention research in India. 

2016-2017 events