José A. Bauermeister, PhD, MPH
Young sexual, gender and racial/ethnic minority populations account for most new HIV/STI infections in the United States. Dr. Bauermeister uses interdisciplinary strategies to advance research and intervention methods aimed at decreasing sexuality-related disparities and improving health equity for young sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations.
José Arturo Bauermeister, MPH, PhD (he/him) is a Penn Presidential Professor and director of the Program on Sexuality, Technology and Action Research (PSTAR) at Penn Nursing. His research integrates perspectives from public health, social science, medicine and human sexuality to create interdisciplinary strategies to curtail HIV disparities among sexual and gender minority adolescents and young adults. His work has been published over 200 scientific publications and book chapters in the areas of HIV/AIDS, online partner-seeking behaviors, LGBTQ health, and cognitive and emotional well-being. He has been funded for $30 million as principal investigator in federal and foundation awards and over $120 million as co-investigator in federally-funded research. Given his expertise, Dr. Bauermeister serves in the National Institutes of Health’s Sexual and Gender Research Working Group and the Population and Public Health Approaches to HIV/AIDS Study Section. Dr. Bauermeister is Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s 2019 class of Health Innovators Fellows, and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
“If we are to achieve the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the United States by 2030 initiative goals, investment in and synergy between systems-level interventions, digital strategies, and biomedical technologies will be necessary to optimize HIV prevention and care delivery for sexual and gender minority youth.”
- PhD, University of Michigan, 2006
- MPH, University of Michigan, 2004
- BA, University of Puerto Rico–Mayagüez, 2002
Dr. Bauermeister’s interdisciplinary research relies on mHealth strategies and biomedical technologies to strengthen HIV prevention and care service delivery and optimize the health and well-being of racial/ethnic and sexual minority adolescents and young adults. He has pioneered the integration of community-based, action-oriented strategies and tailoring technologies to improve the reach and impact of mHealth applications for adolescents and young adults. Currently, Dr. Bauermeister is PI of several intervention projects seeking to improve the HIV prevention and care continuum by addressing HIV-related health-seeking behaviors, sexual behaviors, alcohol and other drug use, and psychological well-being.
Dr. Bauermeister’s scholarship is grounded in social justice and characterized by a commitment to addressing structural and interpersonal barriers that hinder the social and personal well-being of SGM communities. Alongside race, class and gender, sexuality structures how we relate and interact with one another, and can give way to social and health inequalities when some sexualities are privileged over others. Dr. Bauermeister has sought to examine how to leverage intragroup and intergroup relationships to promote innovative strategies that address the needs of vulnerable SGM communities.
NURS 824-301: Health Equity: Conceptual, Linguistic, Methodological, and Ethical Issues
Dr. Bauermeister leads several technology-assisted multilevel interventions to reduce HIV/STI risk and psychosocial vulnerability among sexual and gender minority youth across the United States. He has pioneered the integration of youth-based participatory strategies during mHealth intervention development and testing, as well as the use of geospatial and behavioral tailoring techniques to improve the reach and impact of mHealth applications. Dr. Bauermeister currently is PI of several mHealth clinical trials, including a life skills app for adolescent sexual minority men, and a social support platform focused on addressing stigma for Black and Latinx sexual and gender minority adolescents and young adults.
Dr. Bauermeister is also a member of the NIH Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions (ATN). As part of the ATN, Dr. Bauermeister is testing the efficacy of a HIV/STI testing intervention that motivates SGM to know their status and matches them to the best HIV prevention sites in their community. Dr. Bauermeister is also co-investigator of several online intervention trials, including the development of an app that encouraged HPV vaccination among young gay and bisexual men, a social media delivered intervention to reduce alcohol use among adolescents, and a CDC-funded project focused on optimizing sexual health messaging for SGM.
Dr. Bauermeister addresses health inequities by developing and testing sexual health promotion programs for vulnerable young sexual and gender minorities academic-community partnerships. He has pioneered the integration of community-based, action-oriented strategies such as mystery shopping to evaluate the quality of services offered through HIV/STI agencies across the United States, and the delivery of technical assistance and capacity building programs to address gaps in agencies’ service delivery. Using community engagement principles, he involves community members in decision-making on everything from the research questions to be asked to how to collect and analyze the data.
In response to the Ending the HIV Epidemic by 2030 in the United States, Dr. Bauermeister currently serves as PI of an implementation science planning study focused on identifying the strengths and challenges experienced by HIV testers when working with SGM youth living in Philadelphia County. In partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s (PDPH) AIDS Activities Coordinating Office, findings from this project will be used to leverage on-going prevention and care efforts by PDPH, including on-going skill building activities for Testers via mandated booster training, addressing missed opportunities in local HIV prevention due to systems-level barriers and challenges through policy change.
Innovations in Biomedical HIV Prevention
Dr. Bauermeister leads and contributes to large biomedical clinical trials focused on developing new biomedical HIV prevention technologies for use globally. With the FDA-approval of a daily oral pill as a strategy to avoid HIV infection, there has been an impetus in developing and testing additional HIV prevention technologies in the form of douches, vaginal rings, gels, inserts and injectables. These technologies could serve as prevention alternatives to barrier methods (e.g., condoms) or systemic prophylaxis (e.g., daily oral-delivered Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) for men and women around the globe. Through his work, Dr. Bauermeister uses participatory methods to ensure that new biomedical HIV prevention solutions being developed are ultimately acceptable and fit within the lives of those most impacted by the epidemic. Dr. Bauermeister is a member of the Behavioral Research Working Group for the NIH Microbicide Trials Network (MTN). In this role, he provides a examines how social and behavioral factors influence the acceptability, tolerability and adherence of study products. Currently, he serves as Protocol Chair for DESIRE (Developing and Evaluating Short-acting Innovations for Rectal Use; MTN 035), a 5-country protocol that systematically examines SGM youths’ preferred formulation modality (e.g., fast-dissolving insert, suppository, douche) for the future delivery of drugs to help prevent HIV/STI when engaging in receptive anal sex. He also serves as Protocol Chair of a novel Phase I safety clinical trial examining the acceptability, tolerability and safety profile of a PrEP douche among adolescent and young adult men.
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
At Penn Nursing, Dr. Bauermeister works alongside students, colleagues, and community partners to identify innovative strategies to inform sexual health promotion interventions as part of the Program for Sexuality, Technology and Action Research. The program offers research opportunities to maximize translational science solutions towards addressing LGBT health disparities.
Selected Career Highlights
Health Innovator Fellow, The Aspen Institute
2018 Penn Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
Past Chair, HIV/AIDS Section, American Public Health Association
Excellence in Teaching Award, School of Public Health, University of Michigan
Editorial Board Member - American Journal of Community Psychology, Journal of Community Psychology, AIDS & Behavior, Archives of Sexual Behavior, AIDS Education & Prevention, Annals of LGBTQ Public and Population Health, and Journal of Youth & Adolescence
Joan Lynaugh Faculty Mentorship Award for Fostering Scholarly and Professional Development within the Faculty, Department of Family & Community Health, University of Pennsylvania
Research Award for Distinguished Contribution to Nursing and Healthcare Scholarship, Department of Family & Community Health, University of Pennsylvania
Bauermeister, J.A., Muessig, K., LeGrand, S., Flores, D.D., Choi, S.K., Dong, W., Sallabank, G., & Hightow-Weidman, L. (2019). HIV and sexuality stigma reduction through engagement in online forums: Results from the HealthMPowerment intervention. AIDS & Behavior, 23(3), 742-752.
Goldenberg, T., Stephenson, R., & Bauermeister, J.A. (2019). Cognitive and emotional factors associated with sexual risk-taking behaviors among young men who have sex with men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 48(4), 1127-1136.
Bauermeister, J.A., Tingler, R.C., Demers, M., Connochie, D., Gillard, G., Shaver, J., Chavanduka, T., & Harper, G.W. (2019). Acceptability and preliminary efficacy of an online HIV prevention intervention for single young men who have sex with men seeking partners online: The myDEx Project. AIDS & Behavior, 23(11), 3064-3077.
Bauermeister, J.A., Golinkoff J.M., Lin, W.Y., Claude, K.F., Horvath, K.J., Dowshen, N., Schlupp, A., Vickroy, W., Desir, K., Lopez, A.V., Castillo, M., Tanney, M., Wimbly, T.A., Leung, K., Sullivan, P.S., Santiago, D., Hernandez, R., Paul, M., Hightow-Weidman, L., Lee, S., & Stephenson, R. (2019). Testing the Testers: Are young men who have sex with men receiving adequate HIV testing and counseling services? JAIDS, 82, S133-S144.
Bauermeister, J.A., Muessig, K., Flores, D.D., LeGrand, S., Choi, S.K., Dong, W., Harper, G.W. & Hightow-Weidman, L. (2018). Stigma Diminishes the Protective Effect of Social Support on Psychological Distress Among Young Black Men Who Have Sex With Men. AIDS Education & Prevention, 30(5), 406-418.
Bauermeister, J.A., Connochie, D., Eaton, L., Demers, M., & Stephenson, R. (2017). Geospatial indicators of space and place: A review of multilevel studies of HIV prevention and care outcomes among young men who have sex with men in the United States. Journal of Sex Research: Annual Review of Sex Research, 54(4-5), 446-464.
Bauermeister, J.A., Pingel, E.S., Sirdenis, T.J., Andrzejewski, J., Gillard, G., & Harper, G.W. on behalf of the Michigan Forward in Enhancing Research and Community Equity Coalition. (2017). Ensuring community participation during program planning: Lessons learned during the development of a HIV/STI program for young sexual and gender minorities. American Journal of Community Psychology, 60(1-2), 215-218.