3 Questions with Researcher-in-Residence Dr. Angela Kaida

July 28, 2020

Meet Dr. Angela Kaida, SFU Faculty of Health Sciences Associate Professor and CERi Researcher-in-Residence.

1. What is your area of research?

AK: I lead a global research program focused on factors and environments that increase vulnerability or protect sexual and reproductive health, in the context of HIV. I work closely with community leaders and decision-makers to integrate research evidence into health policy and programming, attending to social and gender equity.  Grounded in critical feminist and community-based research approaches, my research program is actively trying to address several research questions:

  1. Evaluate a patient-centred, safer conception intervention for men and women living with HIV in rural Uganda, who have HIV sero-discordant sexual partners and who desire children.
  2. Assess how socio-structural, behavioural, and biological factors intersect to increase HIV acquisition risk among adolescents and young adults in South Africa.
  3. Examine how socio-structural factors, including gender inequity, criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, and social determinants of health shape the sexual and reproductive health of women living with HIV in Canada.

2. What are the challenges of your research?

AK: Although women represent over half of all people living with HIV around the world, a challenge of my research is pervasive HIV-related stigma and sexism, both of which compromise research participation and support for inclusive, rights-based, women-centred research on priority research topics expressed by women living with HIV, such as sexual health, sexual pleasure, desires for parenthood, and reproductive justice.

3. How does your research impact community?

AK: I don’t feel like I can appropriately answer this question on behalf of the communities that my research aims to serve.

I can say, however, that our model of research strives to embrace community-based research principles, practice allyship, and engage affected community members across the research process. Community-based research principles stipulate that intentional steps are taken to disrupt the power imbalances typically present between researchers and the community that is being researched by fostering collaborative, co-learning partnerships between community members and researchers. In our work, such approaches are necessary to redress gendered and social marginalization from meaningful HIV research participation and benefit. In the context of research involving women living with HIV, expectations extend to an explicit commitment to the GIPA (the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS) and MEWA (Meaningful Engagement of Women living with HIV/AIDS) principles, which demand both involvement of women living with HIV throughout the research process and meaningful engagement as defined by those involved. By embracing such an approach, our research program aims to improve understanding of the socio-structural determinants of health and to contribute more meaningful and nuanced findings to the development of appropriate and accessible health programs and policies.

Stay Connected with CERi

We'll keep you engaged with our work, programs and events. You can unsubscribe at anytime.