Appointments and Training:
Matthew J. Mimiaga is tenured Professor of Epidemiology at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. He is Director of the UCLA Center for LGBTQ Advocacy, Research & Health (C-LARAH) and affiliated Senior Research Scientist at The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, Boston, MA. He is also Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology and Behavioral & Social Sciences at Brown University, Providence, RI.
Dr. Mimiaga completed the Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program in Behavioral Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; he received a Doctorate of Science from Harvard University, a Master of Public Health from Boston University, and a Master of Arts from Brown University. From 2015 – 2020, Dr. Mimiaga was tenured Professor of Epidemiology and Behavioral & Social Health Sciences (School of Public Health) and Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior (Alpert Medical School) at Brown University. From 2008 – 2015, he was Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Scholarship and Funded Research:
To date, Dr. Mimiaga has authored over 350 peer-reviewed, original scientific journal articles in the area of HIV prevention and public health, as well as numerous book chapters and commentaries. Furthermore, he currently is / has been the principal investigator (PI) of several federally funded research grants. These include 20 NIH-funded R- and U-level grants (6 R01s, 1 R56, 6 R34s, 4 R21s, 1 R03, and 2 U01s), 2 CDC U01 grants, and greater than 30 additional research grants via MA and RI State Departments of Public Health, private foundations (e.g., amfAR), the Center For AIDS Research (CFAR) at both Harvard and Brown, Harvard Catalyst Grant Program, The Watson Institute, Brown Seed Award Program, the Reagan Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, NIH administrative and diversity supplements, and other university-supported funding opportunities. He is also the primary mentor on numerous NIH pre- and post-doctoral training grants (e.g., R36, NRSA, K-, and T32 awards), CFAR developmental awards, NIH diversity supplements, and an NIH COBRE award.
Dr. Mimiaga is Deputy Editor for the Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS); Academic Editor for PLOS ONE; Senior Associate Editor for Annals of LGBTQ Public and Population Health; and currently on the editorial boards of 8 scientific journals (e.g., PLOS ONE, AIDS Care, Transgender Health, JIAS). Dr. Mimiaga previously served as a standing member of the National Institutes of Health HIV/AIDS Intra- and Inter-personal Determinants and Behavioral Intervention (HIBI) Study Section and as a standing member of the Behavioral and Social Consequences of HIV/AIDS (BSCH) Study Section from 2012-2019.
Research Interests. My research program focuses on improving health disparities and health equity among a variety of populations at risk for HIV infection, such as marginalized and disenfranchised groups with vulnerabilities to health disparities or stigmatized conditions, including sexual and gender minorities, racial/ethnic minorities, and other groups that experience social, political, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage. My research includes developing and testing interventions to decrease sexual risk in HIV primary and secondary prevention; biobehavioral interventions to enhance antiretroviral medication uptake and adherence for both HIV treatment (ART) and prevention (PrEP and PEP); psychosocial treatment interventions for stimulant use disorder and concurrent HIV risk, and opioid use disorder and adherence to medication-assisted treatment; infectious disease and psychiatric epidemiology; and global health research within 12 resource constrained countries. My research program includes:
- HIV Primary & Secondary Biobehavioral Prevention: Developing and testing interventions to mitigate HIV risk with antiretrovirals. Current studies include interventions focused on: a) PrEP uptake, adherence, and retention in PrEP-related care (once-daily oral pill—emtricitabine/tenofovir (i.e., TRUVADA® or DESCOVY®)—as pre-exposure prophylaxis for the prevention of HIV in uninfected individuals); b) nPEP phase 4 investigations to document tolerability, side effects, and completion rates (non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis for prevention of HIV after sexual or injection drug use exposure); and c) antiretroviral therapy (HIV treatment) uptake, adherence, and retention in care.
- Epidemiology of HIV & Other Sexually Transmitted Infections: This includes, documenting the prevalence, incidence, and determinants (psychosocial, behavioral, biological and structural) of HIV and STI emergence and transmission in various at-risk populations; longitudinal population-based studies to define transmission dynamics and spectrum of disease and survival; characterizing social, sexual and drug use networks to better understand how connections (e.g., homophily, multiplexity), distributions (e.g., centrality, density), and segmentation (e.g., cohesion) potentiates HIV risk and infection; and agent-based modeling to estimate how micro-level processes generate and influence macro-level phenomenon
- Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction & Concurrent HIV Risk: Developing and testing integrated psychosocial addiction treatment [e.g., behavioral activation (BA)] and HIV risk reduction interventions for stimulant and opioid use disorders. For example, problematic stimulant (i.e., crystal methamphetamine, cocaine, crack) use is a complex and treatment-resistant problem. One potential contributor to its intractability may be that existing treatments lack adequate attention to replacement activities or to the role of depressed mood/anhedonia relapse trigger, which is the cornerstone of a BA approach. BA is an evidence-based, cognitive behavior therapy approach for depression that involves re-learning how to engage in life by identifying and actively participating in pleasurable, goal-directed activities. The underlying hypothesis, for individuals abusing stimulants, is that re-learning how to engage in the non-drug using aspects of one’s life will facilitate their ability to benefit from concomitant HIV risk reduction counseling.
- Behavioral Interventions for HIV Prevention: Development, evaluation, and implementation of interventions to modify behaviors that heighten an individual's vulnerability to HIV acquisition or transmission. This includes interventions aimed to increase use of condoms and reduce numbers of sexual partners while taking individual characteristics into account, as well as their social, cultural, and economic context. Innovative approaches for delivering intervention content includes the use of technology (e.g., mobile phone counseling, text messaging, mobile apps, interactive video games using avatars, etc.). In addition, often times interventions will address the specific psychosocial problems that exacerbate HIV risks, such as empowerment, self-acceptance, and distress. Addressing these psychosocial problems as part of an HIV prevention intervention is a way to help individuals who suffer the damaging impact of adverse social conditions that they face—resulting in decreased distress and increased self-care—therefore promoting their ability to benefit from HIV prevention efforts.
- Global Health Research: Conducting HIV prevention research that advances health among myriad at-risk populations in resource-limited settings. Current studies are being conducted in Asia, Africa, North America, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. My prior population-based studies have surveyed at-risk groups via the internet--spanning all Latin American countries, North America, Spain, Portugal, and Vietnam--to better understand risk and protective factors for HIV infection.
- Health & Human Rights Research: Documenting the epidemiology of violence, exploitation, abuse, neglect, substance use, and poor psychological well-being and access to medical, mental health and social services among adolescent refugees in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, with the goal of developing and testing behavioral- and structural-level interventions to promote healthier conditions.