Public Release: 

Hunter professor awarded $3.6M NIH research grant to study stigma and HIV-related health outcomes

The City University of New York

Hunter College's Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training (CHEST; @CHESTNYC) has been awarded a five-year research grant (R01-MH114735) for more than $3.65 million from the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) to better understand how stigma is associated with mental and physical health outcomes for HIV-positive gay and bisexual men. The Principal Investigator (PI) on the award is Dr. Jonathon Rendina (@ProfRendina), Assistant Professor of Psychology at Hunter College and Director of Quantitative Methods at CHEST.

Sexual minority stigma has been well-examined as a contributor to mental and physical health outcomes for gay and bisexual men, but much less is known about the impacts of HIV stigma for men who are both gay/bisexual and HIVpositive. This study represents the culmination of training that Dr. Rendina received at Hunter College/CHEST over the past three years and pilot research he conducted with the support of a career development award (K01-DA039030) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). This is the second large, NIH-funded research grant awarded to Dr. Rendina as PI since joining Hunter College as a full-time faculty member in 2016.

"There are well-documented mental and physical health disparities faced by gay and bisexual men, and these are further exacerbated among those who are living with HIV," said Dr. Rendina. He went on to note that, "The hypotheses we will test as part of this longitudinal study will help us plan appropriately for subsequent interventions aimed at reducing health disparities by targeting the mechanisms linking stigma to health."

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Co-Investigators on this award are Dr. Jeffrey Parsons, Distinguished Professor at Hunter College and Director of CHEST, and Dr. Sarah Feldstein Ewing, Professor at Oregon Health and Sciences University. Additional collaborators include Dr. Brian Mustanski of Northwestern University, Dr. Steven Safren of University of Miami, Dr. Adam Carrico of University of Miami, and Dr. Christina Meade of Duke University. The study will involve many Hunter College undergraduate and master's students who intern or volunteer their time at CHEST, doctoral students from CUNY's Health Psychology and Clinical Science PhD program, and postdoctoral fellows from Hunter College/CHEST.

CHEST's mission is to conduct research to identify and promote strategies that prevent the spread of HIV and improve the lives of people living with HIV. We have been advocating for and working with the LGBT community since 1996.

The City University of New York is the nation's leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, and additional professional schools. The University serves nearly 275,000 degree-credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students.

For more information, please contact shante.booker@cuny.edu or visit http://www.cuny.edu/research

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