The award from the National Institutes of Health will support research on the changing landscapes of stigma faced by people living with HIV in St. Petersburg, Russia, during the COVID-19 pandemic
Many people who live with HIV or who use illicit substances face stigma as a result of their health status. That stigma can serve as a barrier to health care and lower the quality of life for people facing these struggles daily. That’s true in ordinary times.
But how has the COVID-19 pandemic and the many public fears and anxieties around the disease improved or worsened the impacts of stigma on these vulnerable populations? A new study aims to find out.
Jennifer Carroll, assistant professor of anthropology at Elon University, has received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on stigma, health risk, and risk behaviors experienced by people living with HIV who use drugs in St. Petersburg, Russia. This special funding comes through a competitive, urgent funding opportunity from the National Institutes of Health intended to accelerate high-impact health research about the pandemic.
This research will be carried out by Carroll in partnership with her long-time collaborator Tetiana Kiriazova, director of the Ukrainian Institute for Public Health Policy based in Kyiv, Ukraine. They are working in tandem with a clinical research team from Boston Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and the First Pavlov State Medical University in St. Petersburg, Russia. Through this work the group aims to identify and promote equitable pandemic preparedness strategies for highly vulnerable populations.