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Health Behavior, Society & Policy

Faculty Profile

  • Chongyi Wei, DrPH

  • Associate Professor

  • Department of Health Behavior, Society and Policy

  • CV

Keywords
HIV; global health; sexual minorities; LGBT health; behavioral interventions; behavioral epidemiology; implementation science.

Biography
Dr. Chongyi Wei received his doctoral and post-doctoral training from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. He received a Certificate in LGBT Population Health from the Fenway Institute/Boston University. Prior to joining Rutgers, Dr. Wei held faculty positions at University of California - San Francisco School of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Research Interests
Dr. Wei focuses his research to advance knowledge in and subsequently address barriers to accessing prevention and healthcare services among disenfranchised populations in the global context. Specifically, his main research interests focus on reducing disparities in HIV infections among sexual minority men, particularly in China and other parts of Southeast Asia. His work to date has included conducting extensive HIV behavioral epidemiology, examining the acceptability and feasibility of innovative prevention strategies, and developing and evaluating individual- and community-based intervention trials among sexual minority men in China/Asia.

Research Highlights

Emerging and expanding HIV epidemics among MSM have been documented throughout Asia including China. MSM populations in these countries have been neglected in HIV prevention research until the late 2000s due to social and legal discrimination against sexual minorities. A majority of published literature since then focused on HIV surveillance research (e.g., measuring HIV prevalence and incidence) while there has been a lack of studies identifying drivers of HIV infection among MSM in these Asian countries. As PI, I conducted a series of analyses using both Asia-wide and China-specific datasets to examine HIV-related risk factors among both HIV-uninfected and HIV-infected MSM. These analyses have laid the foundation for developing appropriate prevention interventions for MSM in China and the Asia region. Empirical studies and modeling exercises have demonstrated that Treatment as Prevention (TasP) and improving outcomes along the HIV care continuum can prevent onward HIV transmission and therefore substantially reduce HIV incidence among key population. To achieve the benefits of TasP, we must first identify HIV-infected individuals through HIV testing. However, in many countries and especially among stigmatized populations such as MSM, uptake of HIV testing is very low (e.g., 38% of Chinese MSM received testing in the past year). Innovative strategies are needed to address and overcome multi-level barriers to HIV testing that are unique to different settings and key populations. As PI or Co-I, I have investigated the acceptability and efficacy of several promising strategies that can significantly increase HIV testing uptake among MSM. Partner seeking online or through smartphone applications (apps) has become increasingly popular among MSM due to its accessibility, affordability and anonymity. MSM now comprise one of the largest online communities in the world. There have been concerns that the Internet and apps could facilitate sexual networking and create a risk environment for MSM. Furthermore, the shift from seeking partners at physical venues to online has created challenges for HIV prevention as traditional delivery methods of HIV prevention services and care are not effectively reaching these men within an increasingly digital environment where they interact and connect with each other. As such, there is a need to identify high-risk MSM on mobile platforms and develop technology-based interventions. As PI or Co-I, I have investigated patterns of risk behaviors among MSM who used the Internet and apps to seek partners and assessed the acceptability of technology-based interventions among this population. 

Select Publications
Su, X., Zhou, A., Li, J., Shi, L., Huan, X., Yan, H., Wei, C. (2018) "Depression, Loneliness, and Sexual Risk-Taking Among HIV-Negative/Unknown Men Who Have Sex with Men in China.", Archives of Sexual Behavior Vol. 47 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=29147806&report=abstract

Tang, W., Wei, C., Cao, B., Wu, D., Li, K., Lu, H., Ma, W., Kang, D., Li, H., Liao, M., Mollan, K., Hudgens, M., Liu, C., Huang, W., Liu, A., Zhang, Y., Smith, M., Mitchell, K., Ong, J., Fu, H., Vickerman, P., Yang, L., Wang, C., Zheng, H., Yang, B., Tucker, J. (2018) "Crowdsourcing to expand HIV testing among men who have sex with men in China: A closed cohort stepped wedge cluster randomized controlled trial.", PLoS Medicine Vol. 15 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=30153265&report=abstract

Wei, C., Yan, L., Lippman, S., Su, X., Li, J., Chen, L., Raymond, H., Yan, H. (2018) "Prevalence and Correlates of Point-of-sex Human Immunodeficiency Virus Self-testing Among Human Immunodeficiency Virus-negative Men Who Have Sex With Men in China.", Sexually Transmitted Diseases Vol. 45 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=29944646&report=abstract

Wei, C., Raymond, H. (2018) "Pre-exposure prophylaxis for men who have sex with men in China: challenges for routine implementation.", Journal of the International AIDS Society Vol. 21 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=29998619&report=abstract

Qin, Y., Tang, W., Nowacki, A., Mollan, K., Reifeis, S., Hudgens, M., Wong, N., Li, H., Tucker, J., Wei, C. (2017) "Benefits and Potential Harms of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Self-Testing Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in China: An Implementation Perspective.", Sexually Transmitted Diseases Vol. 44 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=28282650&report=abstract

Yang, C., Guadamuz, T., Lim, S., Koe, S., Wei, C. (2016) "Factors Associated with Alcohol Use Before or During Sex Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in a Large Internet Sample from Asia.", LGBT Health Vol. 3 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=26789393&report=abstract

Wei, C., Yan, H., Raymond, H., Shi, L., Li, J., Yang, H., McFarland, W. (2016) "HIV Testing and Awareness of Partner's HIV Status Among Chinese Men Who Have Sex with Men in Main Partnerships.", AIDS and Behavior Vol. 20 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=26122649&report=abstract

Wei, C., Cheung, D., Yan, H., Li, J., Shi, L., Raymond, H. (2016) "The Impact of Homophobia and HIV Stigma on HIV Testing Uptake Among Chinese Men Who Have Sex With Men: a Mediation Analysis.", Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes Vol. 71 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=26334742&report=abstract

Awards
Outstanding Student Award, DrPH Program - Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh (2009) - .

Honor Student - Duquesne University English as a Second Language Program (2003) - .

Honor Students’ Scholarship - Sichuan International Studies University (1999) - .