AVAILABLE POSITION:  DATA ANALYST

Sometime during the Summer of 2002 our project "Networks, Norms and HIV/STD Risk among Youth" will have an opening for a data analyst.   This is a cross-sectional sociometric study of sexual and drug-injection networks in a low income, minority community in Brooklyn, NY.  (The proposal abstract appears below.)

The person hired will focus primarily on data and data analysis, but will also be involved in other aspects of the project.  She/he will both assist others in writing papers, grants, etc., and write his/her own papers.  The project will be funded until 2005.  Opportunities for research at NDRI thereafter are likely to be very appealing.  Starting salary is anticipated to be in the mid 50's.

At Sunbelt, please see Carey Maslow (the Project Director) or Peter Flom (the current data analyst) if you are interested in this position or know someone who might be.  They are both staying at Le Meridien.  You can also reach Carey Maslow via email ([log in to unmask]) or communicate directly with the Principal Investigator, Samuel R. Friedman ([log in to unmask]), who could not make it to Sunbelt this year.

National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., is a non-profit research and health intervention and education organization, with its main offices are located in New York City.   Dr. Friedman has conducted many research projects on HIV and related issues; and is an author of Social Networks, Drug Injectors' Lives,  and HIV/AIDS.  Friedman SR, Curtis R, Neaigus A, Jose B, Des Jarlais DC. 1999.  New York: Kluwer/Plenum.

Heterosexual transmission in the United States accounts for approximately 9,000 HIV seroconversions per year, with many of these infections due to sex with injection drug users. Backcalculation data suggest that HIV incidence among heterosexual young adults (particularly among Blacks and Puerto Ricans) is growing. Infection with HIV among youth could increase even more rapidly if more become drug injectors; if sexual network connections with drug injectors become denser or closer; if sexual risk behaviors increase; or if untreated STDs proliferate and enhance transmission. In many neighborhoods, children and teenagers grow up in environments with large numbers of drug injectors, often including close relatives and friends. In some of these neighborhoods, including Bushwick (where the study will be conducted), at least 30% of IDUs are infected with HIV. In spite of this worrisome background, our research has shown that, in Bushwick at least, both drug injection (0.4%) and HIV infection (0.2%) remain rare among young adults. It is clearly important to determine what lies behind this good news. We propose to answer this question by interviewing and collecting blood and urine from 900 subjects, who will consist of the extended sexual and injection networks of (a) Bushwick IDUs , (b) persons who participate in group sex, and (c) a representative sample of young Bushwick non-IDU adults. HIV, hepatitis B and C, HSV-1 and -2, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia infection will be assayed. Interviews will cover sexual and drug behaviors and partnerships, and peer norms towards drug use, sex, group sex, and sex with IDUs. Ethnography will assist in understanding context and in recruiting network members. These data will be used to determine: (1) how sociometric sexual network characteristics are related to infection with HIV and other STIs; (2) how sexual networks and peer norms are interrelated; (3) how norms and networks are related to risk behaviors; (4) what individual characteristics predispose young adults to be in hig
and/or to have peers with high-risk norms about sex or drugs; (5) what sex partners know about each other, and how this affects condom use; and (6) characteristics of young adults who have sex with IDUs (and vice versa), and of sero-discordant couples, that can assist prevention. This knowledge will be applied to developing policy and programs for HIV and STD prevention.