I’m a Tulane SPHTM ’12 graduate from the Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences Department. Following graduation, I spent a bit of time as an HIV study coordinator for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) trials among young men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. As career trajectories often do, circumstances took a turn and I spent the next three years working on fraud, waste, and abuse protections granted by the Affordable Care Act at The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (HHS-CMS). While these ventures were satisfying enough, I felt as though my time at Tulane specifically prepared me for a global health role and so I left the “safety” of federal government for an ASPPH/CDC Allan Rosenfield Global Health Fellowship position in Lusaka, Zambia (now called the PHI/CDC Global Health Fellowship).
After completing a year with the CDC in Zambia, I am now living in Beijing with CDC-China and working hands-on with the ever-changing President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief program (PEPFAR). Given that millions of individuals have already been tested, placed on treatment, and carry undetectable viral loads, this timing presents a unique opportunity to combine my psycho-social background with the MPH’s “hard skills” (such as monitoring & evaluation) to design sustainable programs targeting key populations. I’ve felt very fortunate to be “working toward an AIDS-free generation” by implementing sustainable programs in partnership with the Zambian or Chinese governments specifically as it relates to MSM, sex workers, and injection drug users (as they are the most high-risk for HIV/AIDS yet historically under-served populations). I’m very thankful to Tulane SPHTM’s professors who contributed in shaping my path to where I am today.