The UMD Graduate School awarded Jennifer Guida, Ph.D. student in Epidemiology, with an International Graduate Research Fellowship. The fellowship will support Ms. Guida as she embarks on a research trip to China with her faculty advisor, Dr. Hongjie Liu. Leveraging Dr. Liu’s academic connections in the country, Ms. Guida will have the opportunity to work closely with Chinese sex workers and explore factors promoting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in that population.
Ms. Guida and Dr. Liu study how HIV/AIDS and STIs spread through social networks, particularly among commercial sex workers in China. Their previously published work delves into the associations between stigma and social networks, as well as stigma as a barrier to safe sex practices. Furthering this research, Ms. Guida will work with Dr. Liu's colleagues at the Anhui Medical University in Hefei, Anhui province, China. There, she will explore different social network analysis methods to investigate HIV/AIDS infection patterns among sex workers.
Ms. Guida will travel to China in late May. She plans to spend the first month of her trip conducting research but has also reserved her last two weeks for sightseeing and absorbing the local way of life. She commented on the wealth of experiences she hopes to have on this trip.
“I am really excited to expand my knowledge of social network methods and finally meet the people we work with on all of our studies. I think going there will provide a lot of context to the work we do and help me understand the intersection of Chinese culture and the spread of HIV/AIDS."