Associate Professor of Global Health and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences,  Deepa Rao, will speak at the White House during a special two-day meeting on HIV stigma, March 3-4. She was invited by the Office of National AIDS Policy, in collaboration with the NIH Office of AIDS Research, National Institute of Mental Health.

The meeting is being convened to advance research, policy and programs related to HIV stigma, with the second day focusing the way forward for HIV stigma research.  Attendees will include community stakeholders, leaders from national and international AIDS organizations, as well as researchers from other universities.

A clinical psychologist, Dr. Rao will present a review of stigma reduction interventions and on her stigma reduction work, which includes group and tablet-based activities to reduce stigma among African-American women living with HIV. Thus far, the group intervention has been tested in Birmingham, Chicago, and Seattle, and has shown modest reductions the internalized stigma of the participants. High levels of internalized stigma have been shown to influence whether people take HIV medications regularly, which can affect the level of HIV virus in their bodies and how easily they will transmit the virus to others.

To read more about the University of Washington’s work on global mental health, visit the Global Mental Health Program website.