Congratulations Class of 2017!

Sandi and 2017 MPH graduate Ms. Jillian Kadota

Sandi and 2017 MPH graduate Ms. Jillian Kadota

Women in Shinyanga carrying firewood. Photo by J. Kadota.

Women in Shinyanga carrying firewood. Photo by J. Kadota.

Congratulations to the UC Berkeley School of Public Health Class of 2017! Our team's graduates will enter the workforce as newly minted epidemiologists and many will share their research this summer at national and international scientific meetings. Jillian Kadota is one such student. As part of her MPH summer internship, she spearheaded a multidisciplinary study in Tanzania to understand the effects of heavy load carrying on women's health. Jillian collected qualitative and quantitative information from women about how much water, wood, or other substances they carry every day and their self-reported health. She also weighed their loads, took pictures and videos to characterize their posture and gait, and asked a subset of women to wear personal devices to capture biometric data. With this information she plans to assess the potential health effects of heavy load carrying. This is an especially salient topic in East Africa where mechanized transportation is scarce and women and girls bear most of the carrying burden. Furthermore, musculoskeletal injuries - often related to carrying heavy loads - comprise the largest burden of disease globally; both the 1990 and 2013 Global Burden of Disease studies listed low back pain as the number one contributor to years lost to disability (YLD). You can read more about her work here and in an upcoming publication. 

Cash and food transfers improve adherence to HIV treatment and care

Our team is thrilled to announce the results of our randomized trial comparing the effectiveness of conditional cash and food transfers to improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy and retention in HIV care among adults in Tanzania. The study found that both food assistance and cash transfers increased adherence to treatment and reduced loss to follow-up, although cash transfers were more effective than food assistance after the incentive period was over. We also found that cash transfers cost less than food transfers, are easier to implement, and are often preferred by patients. The presentation at AIDS 2016 (Durban, South Africa) can be viewed here and the results are available starting January 2017 in the journal AIDS. The study was a collaboration between UC Berkeley, the Shinyanga Regional Medical Office, and the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children. It was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. 

The food basket evaluated in the study. 

The food basket evaluated in the study. 

Now Recruiting!

We're recruiting 18-26 year old gay/bi/queer men in Oakland and Hollywood to participate in a project using gamification to improve sexual health. The rePLAY Project is a collaboration between AIDS Healthcare Foundation, UC Berkeley, and UCLA. Our goal is to strengthen the relationship between millennial gay/bi/queer men in California and existing sexual health programs. In order to do this, we focus on creating fun and engaging experiences using technology and games.

Want to join in on the fun? Click the link above to sign up!

Can gamification help prevent HIV infection?

The UC Berkeley, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and UCLA team. 

The UC Berkeley, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and UCLA team. 

We are proud to announce the launch of a new project to determine whether gamification, the use of game elements in non-game settings, can improve the sexual health of gay and bisexual men in California. The project is funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and is a collaboration between UC Berkeley, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and UCLA. Our goal is to to encourage young high-risk gay and bisexual men to be regularly screened for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and to adopt safer sexual behaviors. The results from the study will provide guidance about whether interventions using gamification can reduce high-risk behavior and decrease the incidence of HIV and STIs among young MSM. Read more about the project in the UC Berkeley newsroom

Congratulations to 2015 Student Fellowship Recipients

Congratulations to UC Berkeley students Nerissa Nance and Anna Najor for receiving prestigious summer research fellowships. Nerissa, a graduate student in the School of Public Health, received a Center for Global Public Health summer research fellowship to evaluate an intervention to enhance PMTCT services in Tanzania using community health workers. She presented her findings on Friday at the 2015 Global Health Research Fall Student Symposium; her talk was "Catalyzing Community Health Workers to Improve the Health of Mothers with HIV and their Infants." Anna Najor is an undergraduate student who was selected as a 2015 Minority Health/Global Health Disparities Research Fellow. Anna's research goal was to understand what motivates communty health workers in Tanzania, and how to leverage their skills and commitment to their communities in order to improve global health. She also presented the results of her research on Friday; her talk was entitled "What Makes Community Health Work Worthwhile?" Bravo, Ladies!

Research featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review

This fictional persona represents a typical patient that belongs to the Courageous Fighter segment. Positive reinforcement and social support motivate these patients to adhere, despite the obstacles they face. See other personas and the accompanying "customer journeys" here. 

This fictional persona represents a typical patient that belongs to the Courageous Fighter segment. Positive reinforcement and social support motivate these patients to adhere, despite the obstacles they face. See other personas and the accompanying "customer journeys" here

We are very pleased that our innovative research using patient-centered design and behavioral priming was featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review over the summer. In an article led by Aarthi Rao, we describe how a patient-centered approach together with tools from the private sector can greatly enhance global health programs that require changes in attitudes or behavior. We apply this strategy to the problem of antiretroviral therapy adherence among HIV-infected adults in Tanzania. The patient personas and customer journeys featured in the article can be found here