Principal Investigator Profile


Carlos E. Rodríguez Díaz, PhD

UPR-Medical Sciences Campus
Assistant Professor, Center for Evaluation and Sociomedical Research (CIES)

See Biographical Sketch

Research Goals

  • Dr. Carlos E. Rodríguez-Díaz is a public health scientist, currently an Assistant Professor to the School of Public Health of the University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus. He holds a doctoral degree (PhD) in Public Health with a major in Community Health Promotion and post-doctoral training in HIV and Global Health Research. Dr. Rodríguez-Díaz is a respected professional with regional and international collaborations in the US and the Caribbean region. He is also well recognized for his scientific contributions having over 20 publications in prestigious peer-review journals. Dr. Rodríguez-Díaz expects to continue contributing in the development of interventions to reduce inequities and disparities among populations made vulnerable. His current research activities are aimed to address stigma and discrimination in healthcare services, particularly among those affected by VIH/AIDS and LBGT populations.

*Research Overview

Project Description

  • Project Title: Contacto-dos: Feasibility of an intervention to manage stigma among HIV-MSM in Puerto Rico
  • Awardee Type: Community-Based Investigator Award
  • Collaborator(s): Nelson Varas Díaz, Ph.D , Associate Professor, UPR-Río Piedras
  • Translational Stage: Translation to Patients
  • Health Disparity Focus: HIV
  • Partnership: UPR-Río Piedras
  • Funding: $50,000
  • Abstract: In the U. S., by 2008, Hispanics/Latinos had an HIV diagnosis rate over three times the rate for non-Hispanic/Latino whites, and men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for the highest percentage of diagnose s. Hispanic/Latino MSM represented 72% of new infections among all Hispanic/Latino men, and nearly 19% among all MSM in the U.S. Recent HIV surveillance data indicates that Puerto Rico (PR) has an incidence rate of 45.0 per 100,000; twice the rate of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Despite the substantial and growing prevalence of HIV and STIs among MSM in PR, it has been documented that HIV and gay-related stigma, as well as the lack of preparedness of healthcare providers to provide appropriate services to non-heterosexual (LGBT) individuals, continue negatively impacting the provision of HIV-related services. The effects of these multiple sources of stigma are detrimental, predominantly in already vulnerable social groups, where stigma contributes to poor health outcomes and poor utilization of health services. In the proposed study we will focus on the improvement of HIV services for Puerto Rican and other Hispanic/Latino MSM through the development of a culturally-appropriate system-level intervention for healthcare providers aimed at increasing access to and retention in care by reducing stigma associated with sexuality (gay stigma) and its interconnections with HIV. It is anticipated that this intervention (En Contacto) will help reduce the conditions that stigmatize gay men/MSM and HIV/AIDS and will have an impact in access and retention in care.

Scientific Presentations

Selected Peer Reviewed Publications