Research Assistant Position Announcement

Jen Havens, who sat in on our class last year, sends this RA position announcement:

Study Title: Social networks and HIV risk among rural drug users

Duties: The Research Assistant will assist Dr. Jennifer Havens in all aspects of conducting an NIH-funded R01, including entering and analyzing quantitative data, conducting literature reviews, writing manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed journals, and presentations at national and international conferences. There is ample opportunity to co-author manuscripts as well as utilize data for thesis/dissertation (baseline data collection will be complete by early 2010).  Applicant should possess strong analytical, organizational, communication, methodological, and writing skills.  Knowledge of multilevel modeling and/or social network analysis particularly desirable.

Dates: May 2009 to May 2010 (Start Date Negotiable)

Pay: Summer salary for 2009, TA stipend for the 09-10 year, tuition

Study Overview: The overall goal of this NIH-funded R01 (NIDA) is to examine the prevalence, incidence, and risk factors for HIV and other blood borne infections (BBIs) such as hepatitis C (HCV) and herpes simplex-2 virus (HSV-2) among rural Appalachian drug users using social network analysis and multilevel modeling. HIV continues to be a major public health problem in the United States, especially among drug users. However, little is known about HIV in rural areas in which there are marked health disparities. Therefore, given that studies among urban drug users have found that social network indicators are robust predictors of HIV risk, both social network and individual characteristics will be measured for their association with HIV risk among rural drug users. The specific aims are: 1) To determine the prevalence and incidence of HIV, HCV and HSV-2 among rural injection and non-injection drug users; 2) To examine HIV and other BBI risk among rural injection and non-injection drug users; and 3) To examine longitudinal changes in rural HIV, HCV and HSV-2 risk at 6-months, 12-months and 18-months post-baseline. To meet these aims, a sample 500 rural injection and non-injection drug users will be recruited using respondent driven sampling (RDS). In addition to biologic testing for HIV, HCV and HSV-2, rural participants will be given an interviewer-administered questionnaire pertaining to their social networks (drug, sexual and support networks), sociodemographics, drug use, HIV risk behaviors, psychiatric diagnoses, intravention and norms. Since individuals will be nested within networks, data will be analyzed using multilevel random effects regression that allows for the simultaneous examination of social network and individual-level risk.

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter and CV to Jennifer Havens at jhave2@uky.edu by March 6, 2009. 

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