Grad student working to improve HIV testing

- Anne MacLaurin

Daniel Grace is making a difference in the lives of people living with and vulnerable to HIV in BC. A doctoral student and sessional instructor in the department of sociology, he is researching new HIV testing methods among gay men in BC.He is presenting some of his early findings at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna this month.

“For me, issues such as HIV/AIDS are a litmus test of social inequality in and beyond Canadian society,” says Grace. “I find tremendous personal and professional satisfaction from working with people to address community health concerns.”

Grace is currently part of a multidisciplinary investigation funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) developing a new generation of HIV tests that will shorten the waiting period between exposure to HIV and an HIV test result. Earlier detection is important for the treatment and prevention of HIV. It is during the early (or acute) phase of HIV infection that the risk of transmission is greatest.

Grace’s work in the area of social inequality, gender and HIV/AIDS is supported by two fellowships and a SSHRC Canadian Graduate Scholarship. His fellowships come from the University Without Walls and Duke University (Global Health Fellowship) to support his work in global health policy.

“My research has to involve people in addressing the social inequalities they experience in their everyday lives,” says Grace. “It must work to inform policy, remove barriers to access for marginalized communities and critically address issues of power and ideology.”

Grace is part of the first Universities Without Walls (UWW) cohort—13 students from across Canada who meet once every two weeks in a virtual learning environment.

Beginning this month, Grace will continue his research as a Global Health Fellow through Duke University, conducting research at the World Health Organization in the Department of Gender, Women and Health.


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Keywords: grad, student, improving, hiv, testing

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