Introduction to Research Methods in Sexual Health and HIV/STD Prevention

Course Number: HS 527
Credit(s): 3
Course Categories: 
DNP, Master's, PhD

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the underlying principles, concepts and methods of the epidemiological approach in the context of sexual health as well as HIV/STD transmission and prevention. Class sessions will focus on major observational studies, experimental trials, and surveillance systems in the United States that have led to our current understanding of the HIV and STD epidemics in key populations.

Emphasis will be placed on understanding traditional and contemporary sampling venues for conducting sexual health research, appropriately selecting and performing analytical procedures corresponding to different study designs used in HIV/STD research, recognizing and minimizing sources of systematic error when collecting sensitive information such as details regarding high-risk sexual practices or injection drug use, and critically interpreting study results.

Students will also learn how to use an open source web-based calculator to obtain epidemiologic statistics for designing and analyzing data from HIV/STD research studies, and they will be exposed to the utility, strengths, and limitations of mathematical models specific to this field.