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Hunter Professor Awarded $3.6M NIH Research Grant to study Stigma and HIV-related Health Outcomes

September 19, 2017

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.”