Melissa Ann Habel, C’02, on “My Journey into STD & HIV Prevention”

  • on 11 Nov 2013
  • Gailor Auditorium
habel poster

Melissa Ann Habel, C’02, is a health scientist for the Social & Behavioral Research & Evaluation Branch at the CDC. She will give a Women’s & Gender Studies Colloquium talk titled “From Women’s Studies to Public Health: My Journey into STD & HIV Prevention” at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, in Gailor Auditorium.

Through a reproductive and prevention justice framework, Habel will discuss how Women’s Studies led her to a career in public health. Reproductive justice is a framework to advance a discussion about how women's health, access to medical care, and economic justice are all political issues and that options for making choices must be safe, affordable and accessible.

Likewise, Prevention Justice Mobilization believes that the best way to prevent STDs/HIV is to ensure that all of us have the economic, social, and political power and resources to make healthy decisions about our bodies, sexuality, and reproduction for ourselves, our families, and our communities. Preventing HIV and STDs is more than just the need to change individual behaviors, but entails the need to examine community and structural conditions that increase infection risks for individuals and communities.

Successes related to reproductive and women’s health since Habel’s time at Sewanee will be touched on, such as FDA approval of Plan B, HPV vaccination, and progress for girls, women, and families under the Affordable Care Act. Habel will also speak on her recent research and health communication projects, including her work on the award winning GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign, exploring pharmacies as alternative venues for STD/HIV testing and treatment, and her experiences with the voluntary medical male circumcision program in Mozambique.

Habel’s talk is co-sponsored by the Lectures Committee, International & Global Studies, and the Department of Politics.