Refugee Initiative for Sexual Health (RIFESH)

The collaboration titled “Refugee Initiative for Sexual Health (RIFESH)” Aims to understand HIV risk behaviors, experiences of intersectional stigma, and place-based factors that impact HIV and sexual health outcomes among high-risk refugee groups such as male and female sex workers. To launch the initiative, the team led by Dr. Gamji Rabiu Abu-Ba’are, an assistant professor of nursing and public health from the University of Rochester secured a pilot grant from Yale University Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDs to conduct assessment of risk behaviors, stigma, and HIV testing among refugee male sex workers. The study hopes to gather information to inform the development of an intervention to address these risk factors and stigma and to enhance capacity for HIV testing through self-testing, which is the first step to entering the HIV care process. This will ultimately lead to series of interventions that will address HIV and sexual health outcomes among SSA refugees in Verona and Italy at large.