• Assess ISD, behavioral (e.g., substance use, sex work, condom use), and place-based (e.g., resources, social issues) factors that impact behavioral and sexual health outcomes for at-risk groups, including sexual and gender minorities, adolescents, sex workers, and people who use drugs.
  • Develop or modify interventions to reduce ISD and the impact of place-based issues to improve behavioral and sexual health outcomes at both the population at-risk level and at the healthcare provider level.
  • Share research results to;
  • Improve understanding of how to address risk behaviors, ISD, and place-based factors that impact the sexual and mental health outcomes of vulnerable populations.
  • Foster positive behavioral changes and encourage higher rates of STI/HIV prevention (including testing, PrEP, and reduced substance) and medication adherence (like ART) within these at-risk groups.
  • Assist in the growth of independent investigators by offering academic and research collaborations with current investigators and mentorship to graduate students and early investigators who are interested in substance use and other behavioral issues, HIV and sexual health, and global health.

Core Values: Impacting Knowledge and Lives Team Work and Collaboration Integrity and innovation. Diversity, Equity, and Justice 

Areas of Research: HIV and Sexual Health Substance Use, and Behavioral change Stigma/ Intersectional Stigma Gender and Sexuality Migration and Global Health Neighborhood or Place-based health 

Announcements: All announcements made with any member or faculty 

Publications: All pubs with any member or faculty 

Conference: Same as the above 

Core Members, Address, Contact: 

Gamji Rabiu Abu-Ba’are PhD (PI and Director) Assistant Professor, School of Nursing & Department of Public Health Sciences. 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box SON; Rochester, NY 14642; 6077595760/ 5852755844 Inaugural Harriet J. Kitzman Endowed Fellow in Global Health Research. Affiliate, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, Yale University School of Public Health  Osman Wumpini Shamrock PhD (Postdoc) Postdoctoral Research Associate University of Rochester, School of Nursing 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box SON Rochester, NY 14620 Phone: 585-276-5821  Edem Yaw Zigah (Programs Manager, West Africa Site) Jama’a Action  202 Westlands Blvd,West Legon, Accra, Ghana. +233505655757George Rudolph Agbemedu (Research Associate, West Africa Site) Jama’a Action    202 Westlands Blvd, West Legon, Accra, Ghana. +233241044462  

Henry Delali Dakpui (Research Coordinator) Jama’a Action    202 Westlands Blvd, West Legon, Accra, Ghana. +233209676244  
Include LaRon Nelson and Jim as faculty mentors.

Natalie Leblanc PhD (Faculty Mentor) Assistant Professor, Harriet J. Kitzman Endowed Fellow in Health Disparities Chair, Interdisciplinary Sexual Health and HIV Research (INSHHR) University of Rochester, School of Nursing 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box SON; Rochester, NY 14642; 585.275.4520 Affiliated Faculty; Qualitative & Mixed Methods Research Center University of Rochester Medical Center
Visiting Fellow Faculty; Yale University School of Public Health Research Education Institute for Diverse Scholar (REIDS); Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA)  

Ongoing research projects/funding

  • A formative study to explore healthcare provider cultural competence and HIV health-seeking behavior among transgender women in urban slum communities in Ghana

Aim 1: Assess TGW experience of stigma and health access in HIV-related services. Aim 2: Conduct explanatory surveillance among healthcare providers (HCP) on HIV-related services. 

*Source of Support: University of Rochester School of Nursing 

* Total Award Amount (including Indirect Costs): $5,000 

*MPI: Shamrock/Abu-Ba’are Coordinator: 

Zigah Implementing Partners: Priorities on Rights and Sexual Health (PORSH Ghana)

2. Assessing the role of place and intersectional stigma on access to HIV testing and options for HIVST and linkage to care among West African immigrant sexual minority men - sex workers in Italy 

1. Assess intersectional stigma, facilitators and barriers to HIV testing, and options for testing and HIVST among West African Immigrant SMMSW. 

2. Map HIV prevention and care services and stakeholders 

*Source of Support: NIMH/CIRA Yale Fast-Track Pilot Award : 12/2022-11/2023 

* Total Award Amount $25,000 Implementation Partners, CIRCOLO Pink, Verona Italy.

Adaptation and feasibility of Many Men Many Voices (3MV), an HIV prevention intervention to reduce intersectional stigma and increase HIVST among YSMM residing in Ghanaian slums AIM1. Assess intersectional stigma and options for HIVST implementation among YSMM. AIM2. Adapt 3MV to LAFIYA to address intersectional stigma and HIVST among YSMM. AIM3: Test acceptability, feasibility, appropriateness, and preliminary efficacy of LAFIYA. Project Number: R01TW012671 

*Source of Support: NIH/Fogarty Center 

* Total Award Amount: $619,847 PI: Abu-Ba’are Coordinator:

 Dakpui Implementing Partner: Health Alliance Foundation Institutional Partners: University of Ghana, Yale University, George Washington University

Completed research projects/funding

Formative Research to Adapt a Community-Based HIV Self-Testing Education and Promotion (STEP) Intervention for Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) living in Slum Settlements in Ghana 

1) Identify MSM preferences for HIV self-testing and linkage to care within the context of their lived experiences as MSM within slum/informal communities. 

2) Adapt a community-based Self-Testing Education and Promotion (STEP) intervention to address low HIV testing among MSM in slum communities. 

*Source of Support: Yale University Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS/NIMH Total Award Amount: $31,699, PI, Abu-Ba’are Coordinator Zigah Implementing Partner, Health Alliance Foundation, HAF, Ghana

Multi-level interventions for intersectional stigma reduction to improve HIV outcomes for transgender sex workers 

1) Assess HIV risk, experiences of intersectional stigma, and related factors that promote or hinder access to HIV and sexual health services for HRPs, and 

2) Develop or adapt interventions to address intersectional stigma, risk behaviors, and other factors identified in the assessment phase that hinder access to prevention and care services. 

Project Number: R01TW12672 

Co-I: Gamji Rabiu Abu-Ba'are 

*Source of Support: NIH Fogarty 

* Total Award Amount (including Indirect Costs): $436,679 Partners: Research triangle institute (RTI) and Mekere University University, Uganda