Chen Zhang, PhD, MPH (she/her)
Assistant Professor, University of Rochester School of Nursing
Years as an ANAC member: 3
DEI committee member
What does National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day mean to you?
In the current profile of the HIV epidemic, women and girls share a disproportionate burden of HIV infections. They are less likely to have protection strategies, but more likely to encounter HIV risk episodes (e.g., forced sex, unprotected sex, partner violence) in their life context. On the other hand, women and girls are less visible in HIV prevention and care profiles compared with other key groups, and they are less likely to engage with available prevention services. Women and girls face unique challenges such as low perceived HIV risk, limited access to healthcare, gender inequality and violence.
I am currently working on research to promote HIV prevention for racial/minority women using an artificial-intelligence-powered chatbot to facilitate PrEP engagement for women at risk of HIV. Many racial/minority women are unaware of their HIV risk or reluctant to discuss HIV risk with their health providers. Chatbots can help them better understand their risk and HIV prevention strategies. National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day can promote HIV risk awareness and strengthen HIV care and prevention strategies among women and girls impacted by HIV/AIDS. In addition, this special day also serves as a great opportunity to reduce discrimination and stigma faced by women and girls affected by HIV/AIDS.
What does ANAC mean to you?
ANAC is like a family to me. Under the hub of ANAC, I have the chance to meet great people who are dedicated to nursing research and nursing care, from leadership in nursing care to pioneers in nursing research. ANAC has provided an inclusive environment for people with various backgrounds. I really enjoy being a member of ANAC.
What’s your favorite aspect of ANAC membership?
I can access many different webinars or activities that are organized by ANAC. I can also connect with the network of nursing and healthcare professionals to learn the most cutting-edge research and practices in HIV care, and how HIV care can be delivered and implemented in real-world settings.
What words of wisdom might you pass on to those entering the field?
Be dedicated, be caring and be inclusive.