Neia Prata Menezes, PhD, MPH, received her master’s degree in Global Epidemiology from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She subsequently completed her PhD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Prata’s research explores behavioral, social, and structural barriers and facilitators to HIV prevention and treatment services among historically marginalized and vulnerable populations. For her doctoral dissertation, she evaluated whether injection drug networks inform HIV prevention behaviors of people who inject drugs (PWID) in India. Specifically, she assessed the roles of injection drug network size, position, and peer behaviors on PWID engagement in HIV testing, medication for opioid disorder, and syringe services. Prior to her dissertation, she worked as a research analyst within Global Health Sciences at UCSF to implement a variety of monitoring and evaluation and surveillance projects to characterize programmatic gaps in HIV services across sub-Saharan African and PEPFAR-funded countries.
As a TAPS fellow, Dr. Prata hopes to build on her expertise and explore the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and behavioral interventions to improve access and utilization of HIV services among vulnerable groups. She is also interested in deepening her understanding of the intersection of stigma, substance use, and social support on the health outcomes of vulnerable populations.