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Kathy Trang, PhD

Training Years: 2017-2018

Training Site: UNC Project- Vietnam

Country: Vietnam

Mentors: Tran Viet Ha, PhD; Vivian Go, PhD

Title: Mechanisms Conferring HIV and Mental Health Risk in Young Vietnamese Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)

Project Objectives: This study uses a mixed-method approach in pursuit of four specific aims; all of which will be implemented through ongoing collaboration with Hanoi Medical University for an HIV surveillance study of 1500 MSM:

Aim 1: To characterize the risk environment of 200 YMSM compared to 200 matched young men who have sex with women (YMSW) by utilizing geospatial methods to track spatial activity and scoring areas of daily activity along the following: exposure to indicators of violence, alcohol, and other drug use; physical disorder (e.g., abandoned buildings); and social disorder (e.g., sex exchange venues).

Aim 2: To characterize the sources of social stress and affective and behavioral coping strategies of the same cohort by having participants self-report social activities and interactions; stress and emotional dynamics; and coping strategies over a two-week period using a mobile ecological momentary assessments (EMA) app.

Aim 3: To evaluate the relative contributions of individuals’ risk exposure (Aim 1) and minority stress (Aim 2) on trajectories of risk behavior and depression and anxiety symptoms over a two-week (EMA) and one-month (recollected) period; as mediated by salivary cortisol, a biomarker of HPA functioning and stress reactivity, and C-Reactive Protein and Interleukin-6, biomarkers of acute inflammation.

Aim 4: To characterize in a subset of 60 YMSM and matched YMSW, the qualitative experience of stigma and its impact on real-time stress reactivity (ambulatory heart-rate), EMA self-report, and health.

NIH Support: Fogarty scholars doctoral training award

Kathy Trang Headshot