Noah Wick, Undergraduate student, Public Health and Pre-Med
Investigates HIV prevention methods
• Hometown: Cedar Rapids, IA
• Faculty mentor/advisor: Dr. Rema Afifi, Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Director of the Prevention Research Center for Rural Health
• What is your degree program and expected graduate date? B.S. in Public Health, on the Pre-Med Track, May 2021
• Please describe your research: My research investigates reasons why or why not men who have sex with men get a PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis, a medication that prevents HIV infection) prescription. I interview participants about their experiences in getting a prescription and participants who aren’t currently prescribed PrEP what might be preventing them from seeking a prescription.
• In simple terms, why does this research matter? HIV infection remains a concern among men who have sex with men, and while incidence of new infection is relatively low, preventing transmission altogether could eradicate HIV. PrEP is a powerful tool in the fight against HIV and understanding what helps and prevents individuals from getting a prescription could help physicians, educators, and program directors better serve this population.
• How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in research in some capacity since my first semester at Iowa!
• How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? I think in quite a few ways! My involvement in research has allowed me to directly apply a lot of what I’ve learned in my public health coursework while at Iowa. Balancing time between classes and research has also improved my time management skills and writing and reading academic literature has helped my writing and science communication skills dramatically.
• What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? I will be attending medical school next year, and hope to go into family medicine, specifically focused on LGBTQ+ healthcare.
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