Julia Rozanova, Ph.D., is an associate research scientist at the Yale School of Medicine and the Yale AIDS program.
To achieve the 90-90-90 HIV goals by 2030, Ukraine focuses on young men who have sex with men, but older women with HIV are largely invisible to research and policy agendas. Using personal connections in Ukraine with women’s HIV support group, Julia Rozanova’s Seed Grant project, “Heavy Drinking and Girlfriend Support to Start ART Treatment Among 50+ Year Old Women in Ukraine Diagnosed with HIV,” conducted ethnographic observations of the group’s meetings, and interviewed 15 newly diagnosed women with HIV over the age of 50 to explore how girlfriends help one another to avoid heavy drinking that stems from stigma, loneliness, and social isolation, and to start ART treatment in the absence of external help. Rozanova mentored her Ukrainian colleagues including the group organizers, two women with HIV in their 60s, in developing travel scholarship applications that enabled them to attend the International AIDS Conference in 2020 in San Francisco, co-present this work, and make their voices heard. Rozanova’s study highlights women’s resilience in developing network coping strategies and urges future R01 grant applications to NIAAA to develop a peer-based intervention that reduces heavy drinking and improves mental health among older women newly diagnosed with HIV.
To see the results of Rozanova’s study, please view her poster.