|By Marketwired .||
|May 19, 2014 12:44 PM EDT||
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 05/19/14 -- Dr. Perry Halkitis, an internationally recognized expert in HIV/AIDS research, is shining a new light on the fight against AIDS. His research and public health initiatives continue to show that AIDS is much more than a biomedical condition. Social and psychological factors are influencing the epidemic more than ever.
"The AIDS epidemic of the 1980s was devastating," remarked Dr. Halkitis. "It's a different world today. Today's young gay and bisexual men, especially those in racial minorities, are becoming infected with HIV at an alarming rate, but they continue to exhibit risky sexual behaviors. Homophobia and discrimination are everywhere. But in order to really make a difference, we need to bring together all of these factors that are influencing AIDS rates."
Since the early 1990s, Dr. Halkitis has been working as an AIDS warrior. His work spans the spectrum between education, public health, and community activism. Dr. Halkitis' work is not only well respected by his peers, but it has been recognized with awards and certificates from several highly regarded organizations. Most recently, Dr. Halkitis was the recipient of the New York State Department of Health World AIDS Day 2013 Commissioner's Award.
The release of Dr. Halkitis' latest book has proven to be a compelling and emotional highlight of his recent work as an AIDS warrior. The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience describes the real-life struggles of 15 gay men who were diagnosed with HIV before 1996 and who continue to live with the disease in middle-age. The book was recently named a finalist for a 2014 Lamda Literary Award in the biography/memoir category.
Much of Dr. Halkitis' activism can be seen in his research at New York University. He is the lead researcher of Project 18, a multi-year study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The research is following young men of ethnic and racial minorities in order to track their sexual behaviors and HIV status. Dr. Halkitis and his research team are carefully examining the complex relationship between AIDS infection rates and homophobia, discrimination, substance abuse, mental health, and the social networks of the participants.
"We know that AIDS is not an open and shut disease," commented Dr. Halkitis. "As much as society would like to ignore these infected gay men, it can't happen. AIDS is a very present disease and it will continue to rise to epidemic rates if we can't find effective strategies to address the whole picture. Only then will we be able to get a good handle on meaningful programs for prevention and treatment."
About Dr. Perry N. Halkitis
Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH, is Professor of Applied Psychology and Public Health (Steinhardt School), and Population Health (Langone School of Medicine), Director of the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior & Prevention Studies, and Associate Dean (Global Institute of Public Health) at New York University. Dr. Halkitis' program of research examines the intersection between the HIV epidemic, drug abuse, and mental health burden in LGBT populations, and he is well known as one of the nation's leading experts on substance use and HIV behavioral research. Dr. Halkitis has written extensively in this area and holds degrees in psychology, education, and public health.