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Clare Barrington, Ph.D., MPH, Associate Professor, Health Behavior

Clare Barrington studies how social and structural factors affect health and health behaviors with a focus on chronic diseases, including HIV and diabetes, in Latin America and the Caribbean. She also leads the qualitative components of mixed methods impact evaluations of health and development programs.

Barrington's research examines social and structural influences on health and health behaviors, with a focus on HIV prevention and health care among female sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender women in Latin America and Latino migrants in the United States. She has been conducting community-based research in the Dominican Republic for over 15 years. In collaboration with the Centro de Orientacion e Investigacion Integral (COIN), she studied the social networks of male clients of female sex workers. Results from this study contributed to the growing literature on normative influences on sexual behavior within social networks and were also used in developing a pilot HIV prevention intervention aimed at male clients in the Dominican Republic (funded by the USAID/Academy for Educational Development).With support from USAID, Barrington collaborated with colleagues from Johns Hopkins and the HIV Vaccine Research Unit at the Instituto Dermatalogico y Cirugia de Piel to establish a cohort of 250 FSW living with HIV in Santo Domingo and their male partners to assess the feasibility and initial effects of a multi-level intervention called Abriendo Puertas (Opening Doors) to improve optimal HIV prevention and care outcomes. She also led the adaptation and assessment of a strategy to improve partner referrals for HIV testing with support from the LINKAGES program. She is currently leading the qualitative component of an NIMH-funded longitudinal observational study of social determinants of HIV outcomes with FSW in the Dominican Republic and Tanzania and is Co-PI on a supplement to establish a cohort of transgender women sex workers in the Dominican Republic. In Guatemala, she has collaborated with researchers from the Universidad del Valle (UVG) and the Centers for Disease control to examine and compare social networks among gay identifying and non-gay identifying MSM and transgender women. She recently lead two PEPFAR/CDC-funded studies with UVG in Guatemala City, one which was the first study in the region to pilot the use of health navigators to improve early HIV testing and linkage to care and another to decentralize and differentiate HIV care and treatment for 400 MSM living with HIV. . In North Carolina, Barrington has been studying the intersection between social networks, migration and HIV among Mexican migrants. She currently leads the qualitative formative research and evaluation of a HRSA project to promote early detection and linkage to care for HIV among Mexican MSM and transgender women in North Carolina. Beyond HIV, she has developed a new line of research focused on chronic disease in Latin America in the context of the epidemiologic transition. She has been collaborating on longitudinal qualitative research on the lived experience of diabetes, with a focus on stress and emotional wellbeing, in rural communities in the Dominican Republic. Finally, Barrington is the qualitative researcher on several mixed-methods projects including quality improvement strategies to improve maternal and child health in Ethiopia and impact evaluations of cash transfer programs in Malawi and Ghana.

Barrington will continue to conduct mixed-methods research to improve understanding of the long-term experiences of key populations living with HIV in Latin America and Latinos in North Carolina. She is also integrating focused assessment of violence into her work in Ghana, where she will lead a follow-up study on the pathways between participation in a cash transfer program and intimate partner violence with support from the International Food Policy and Research Institute. In Guatemala, she is working closely with a community-based sexual health clinic, Colectivo Amigos Contra el SIDA (CAS), to improve access to sexual health services for MSM. She was recently awarded an R21 from the Fogarty International Center to work with a community-based sexual health clinic, Colectivo Amigos Contra el SIDA (CAS), to develop innovative approaches to promoting pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). She will extend her qualitative work on diabetes and stress to the Galapagos islands of Ecuador and plans to quantitatively assess diabetes stress as well as structural determinants of diabetes management behaviors.

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Last Updated: 2019-09-13