Posted on Jun 6, 2013

USF College of Nursing’s Dr. LaRon Nelson featured in University of Rochester Alumni Gazette article

USF College of Nursing’s Dr. LaRon Nelson featured in University of Rochester Alumni Gazette article

University of South Florida College of Nursing Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean, Global & Community Affairs, LaRon Nelson, PhD, RN, NP, was  featured in the University of Rochester Alumni Gazette  article, “New Frontiers Against AIDS: With stakeholders in Ghana, LaRon Nelson ’02N, ’09N (PhD) leads an innovative approach to HIV/AIDS prevention,” that was published in the May-June Issue of the Rochester Review and Alumni Gazette. Dr. Nelson earned his BS in Nursing, MS in Nursing/Primary Care of Families, and PhD in Health Practice Research, from the University of Rochester.

In the article author Karen McCally, PhD, discusses Dr. Nelson’s research project in Ghana entitled KAPPA, or Kumasi & Accra Project to Prevent AIDS. Through this research, the article states that Dr. Nelson is working to address the challenge in the West African nation where there is a sizeable number of AIDS cases, high transmission rates, and a traditional culture in which highly stigmatizes same-gender sexual practices.

USF College of Nursing’s Dr. LaRon Nelson featured in Universi
USF College of Nursing Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean, Global & Community Affairs, LaRon Nelson, PhD, RN, NP

“Health promotion at the community level is really about understanding that individuals don’t exist in isolation,” McCally quotes Dr. Nelson in the article. “If we can move communities in terms of a shift in attitudes, or in terms of a shift in health status, then I think we’ll have a more lasting impact than we do with individual level care alone.”

The article also quotes Senior Associate Vice President of USF Health, and Dean of the College of Nursing, Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, who mentored Dr. Nelson at University of Rochester. “He’s a phenomenal young scientist,” Dr. Morrison-Beedy said in the article.

“Today there are 16 Ghanaian physicians on the project working to provide preventive services to men in the cities of Accra and Kumasi who are at highest risk for contracting HIV,” the article says. “At highest risk are men who have sex with other men, or MSM, as clinicians refer to them. The designation makes an important point, says Nelson, noting that previous research teams encountered barriers when they attempted to identify MSM as ‘gay men.’”

Dr. Nelson’s came to USF College of Nursing in August 2012 from the University of Toronto Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing. Dr. Nelson’s research focuses on the primary prevention of HIV and other sexually transmissible infections among socially marginalized groups within African and African Diaspora communities including men who have sex with men (MSM) and African American adolescents’ parents.

His work with MSM is primarily concerned with understanding social and structural factors that influence HIV infection with the goal of generating knowledge that can be used in developing interventions that address social/structural factors as part of integrated local STD/HIV prevention strategies for communities. Dr. Nelson’s work with adolescents is primarily concerned with how co-parenthood and gender equitable/inequitable attitudes intersect to influence the sexual behaviors of Black adolescent mothers and the fathers of their children in the United States and Canada.

To read the University of Rochester’s full article on Dr. LaRon Nelson click here.