Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually transmitted infections are a major public health problem because of their high prevalence, associated poor health outcomes, and the disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations such as adolescents and minorities who are marginalized because of race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Professor Niccolai has been involved in epidemiologic research related to sexually transmitted infections in the US and abroad for over 10 years. Her work has focused on chlamydia, syphilis, human papillomavirus, and HIV. Grounded in behavioral epidemiology but in collaboration with multi-disciplinary teams, her research focuses on transmission dynamics that contribute to ongoing spread and identifying salient risk factors for STI acquisition.

Yale AIDS Colloquiem Series - Linda Niccolai, PhD

http://youtu.be/UZzqAX_-BkgYale AIDS Colloquiem Series - Linda Niccolai, PhDFFFFFF480378

Current Projects

HPV vaccine impact monitoring project across Connecticut (HPV-IMPACT)
The goal of this project is to monitor the population-level impact of HPV vaccine through laboratory-based surveillance for trends in diagnoses of cervical cancer precursors and changes in HPV type distribution. 

HIV risk among commercial sex workers and their partners in Russia                       
The purpose of this project is to understand the variety of different types of sex partners, both clients and non-clients, of street-based female sex workers (FSW) in St. Petersburg, Russia.  Project goals include developing and evaluating methods for recruiting both client and non-client sex partners of FSW, and piloting data collection methods, both quantitative and qualitative, for validation and hypothesis generation. This study also included formative work with male sex workers.

Influences on HIV prevalence and service access among IDUs in Russia and Estonia
The HIV epidemic in Russia and Estonia is driven by viral transmission among injection drug users.  This proposal seeks to identify the extent to which ethnicity and stigma influence HIV prevalence among injectors and their access to HIV prevention and care services in St. Petersburg, Russia and Kohtla-Järve, Estonia.

Opt-out testing for HIV in a family planning setting: Implementation and evaluation
The goal of this project is to evaluate the impact of implementing opt-out HIV testing at six Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) centers.    Specifically, we seek to answer the following two questions: Does implementing opt-out HIV testing increase the proportion of routine visits that include an HIV test and ultimately increase the number of people tested? What socio-demographic and clinical factors are associated with accepting or declining an opt-out HIV test?

Selected Publications

  1. Mehta NR, Julian PJ, Meek JI, Sosa LE, Bilinski A, Hariri S, Markowitz LE, Hadler JL, Niccolai LM. Human papillomavirus vaccination history among women with precancerous cervical lesions: disparities and barriers. Obstetrics and Gynecology 2012 (in press).
  2. Niccolai LM, Julian PJ, Bilinski A, Mehta NR, Meek JI, Zelterman D, Hadler JL, Sosa LE. Area-based poverty, racial, and ethnic disparities in cervical cancer precursor rates in Connecticut, 2008-2009. American Journal of Public Health 2011 (in press).
  3. Niccolai LM, Livingston KA, Laufer AS, Pettigrew MM. Behavioral sources of repeat Chlamydia trachomatis infections: The importance of different sex partners. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2011;87:248-253.
  4. Niccolai LM, Hochberg AL, Ethier KA, Lewis JB, Ickovics JR.  Burden of recurrent Chlamydia trachomatis infections in young women: Further uncovering the “Hidden Epidemic”.  Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 2007;161:246-251.
  5. Niccolai LM, Odinokova VA, Safiullina LZ, Bodanovskaya ZD, Heimer R, Levina OS, Rusakova MM. Clients of street-based female sex workers and potential bridging of HIV/STI in Russia: Results of a pilot study.  AIDS Care 2011 (in press).
  6. Niccolai LM, Verevochkin SV, Toussova OV, White E, Barbour R, Kozlov AP, Heimer R. Estimates of HIV incidence among drug users in St. Petersburg, Russia: Continued growth of a rapidly expanding epidemic. European Journal of Public Health 2011;21:613-9. </>
  7. Niccolai LM, Stephens N, Jenkins H, Richardson W, Muth SQ, Rothenberg R. Early syphilis among men in Connecticut: Epidemiologic and spatial patterns.  Sexually Transmitted Diseases 2007;34:183-187.