February 28, 2012

Argentina Elisa N. Servin Aguirre, M.D., has been named the first U.S.–Mexico Drug Abuse Prevention Research Fellow. The new fellowship is a collaborative effort of NIDA and the National Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz, along with participation from the National Commission Against Addictions (CONADIC) and the Society for Prevention Research.

Dr. Servin Aguirre will work in the United States for 12 months, focusing her training to prepare her to develop, implement, and assess HIV prevention efforts among vulnerable populations in Mexico. She will conduct her research with two mentors, Steffanie A. Strathdee, Ph.D., and Jay G. Silverman, Ph.D., both at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), whose backgrounds and skills will complement each other in meeting Dr. Selvin Aguirre’s goals for the fellowship. Dr. Strathdee is the associate dean of global health sciences, Harold Simon Professor, and chief of the Division of Global Public Health in the Department of Medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine. Dr. Silverman is professor of medicine and global public health at UCSD.

Dr. Servin Aguirre’s proposed project is a series of secondary data analyses embedded in a NIDA-funded project. The aims of the research are twofold: (1) to characterize female sex workers who inject drugs (FSW-IDUs) and are living with dependent children in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, and identify correlates of living with dependent children that could predispose them to health and social harms; and (2) to describe patterns and correlates of intergenerational sex work and drug use among FSW-IDUs in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez.

Findings from her studies will be used to write a grant application to develop and pilot a prevention intervention with FSW-IDUs and their children that will be submitted for consideration to the Fogarty International Center.