Professor, School of Social Work
Director, Social Intervention Group
Past Research: Professor El-Bassel has an extensive research background in designing and testing HIV prevention strategies in clinical trials for women, men and couples recruited from drug-treatment programs, primary care, criminal justice and international settings. In the past eight years, El-Bassel has been studying the co-occurring problems of HIV, violence/trauma, and drug abuse among women and men. Among other findings, her work has demonstrated the utility of relationship-based interventions to increase condom use and prevent HIV and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), and it has underscored the link between HIV risk and the prevalence of experiencing inter-partner violence.
Present/Future Research: As Director of the Social Intervention Group, and of the newly-established Columbia University Global Health Research Center in Central Asia, El-Bassel is currently involved in a number of projects designed to improve the health and well-being of high-risk individuals in both the U.S. and emerging countries in the Central Asian Region. One project (funded by NIDA) intends to inform assessment, treatment and referral protocols to reduce partner violence and HIV-risk behaviors among men and women in methadone maintenance treatment programs in the U.S. Another NIDA-funded project aims to develop the social work profession’s capacity to conduct intervention research on HIV and other STIs among drug-involved women, their sex partners, and their children. El-Bassel and colleagues are conducting an NIMH-funded study to test the efficacy of a contextually-appropriate intervention to reduce the risk of sexually-transmitted diseases among African American HIV serodiscordant heterosexual couples. Several recent projects have extended El-Bassel’s research efforts to Kazakhstan and Tajikistan within Central Asia as well as China; she is evaluating various HIV prevention interventions among men and women at high risk of HIV, including sex workers, drug users and migrant workers.
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