Professor of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health
Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work w Center for the Psychosocial Study of Health and Illness Director
Director, Center for the Psychosocial Study of Health and Illness
Professor Siegel, whose early work examined risk behavior in men who have sex with men (MSM), was among the first social scientists funded by NIH to conduct HIV-related research. Siegel began to focus on how people live with HIV as a ‘chronic disease.’ Siegel has focused on identifying the major illness-related adaptive tasks that HIV disease poses for infected individuals and the coping strategies they enact in an effort to master these tasks. With support from NIMH, NIA, NICHD and NIDA, Siegel has explored these issues with HIV-infected MSM, HIV-infected adults 50 years of age or older, HIV-infected women, HIV/HCV co-infected injection drug users (IDU), and behaviorally-infected adolescents. Findings from these studies have appeared in journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, AIDS and Behavior, the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, AIDS Prevention, and Archives of Sexual Behavior. Siegel’s research has deepened understanding of how HIV-positive individuals manage uncertainty, stigma, and disclosure, how they deal with negative emotions, and how the mastery of these challenges may be complicated or impeded by co-morbidity, a history of substance use, developmental limitations, or inadequate social support.
At the present time Dr. Siegel and her colleague Dr. Lekas are completing a study of heterosexuals use of the Internet for sexual partnering. The goal is to understand how online partnering might contribute to unsafe sexual practices. Data analysis is currently underway. Also just being completed by Dr. Siegel is a study of the use of smart phone apps among men MSM and how this may contribute to risky sexual encounters. Dr. Siegel and her team are currently preparing a grant application to study the uptake of new treatment for chronic hepatitis C. Over the next few years they hope to build a program of research in this area
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