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SHP Researcher Conducts HIV Fieldwork in Africa

During the last week of May, Dr. Enid Schatz, Associate Professor in the Health Sciences Department at the University of Missouri School of Health Professions, moved her family of four from Columbia, Missouri to Cape Town, South Africa.  The motivation for the relocation was to allow Dr. Schatz to participate in a teaching and research Fulbright Fellowship, and an MU Research Leave.

The project Dr. Schatz will be working on originated through the University of Missouri and the University of the Western Cape (MU-UWC) Linkage program funding. During the research, Dr. Schatz will be collaborating with Professor Lucia Knight from the School of Public Health at the University of Western Cape. The focus of their work will be understanding the barriers to health care for older persons (50 years or older) living with HIV, and their access to and the need for social services and support.

While in Africa, Dr. Schatz will be living Cape Town with her spouse, S. David Mitchell, MU professor of Law, and her two children, Langston, age 9 and Zora, age 5. Dr. Schatz will be teaching during the “Winter School” at the University of Western Cape School of Public Health.

“While in Cape Town, we hope to complete the fieldwork started last year – we are doing qualitative interviews with about 20 older men and women living with HIV, and key informant interviews with health care and social service providers in two townships on the outskirts of Cape Town.”, explained Dr. Schatz.

Once the data collection process is complete in December of this year, researchers will analyze the data to better understand the barriers to care and needs of older persons living with HIV. Following research conclusion, researchers will write a grant proposal to fund the intervention.