Steven Paul Meanley, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor in Nursing

Despite persistent disparities in HIV outcomes, communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic exhibit resilience across the treatment and prevention continua. Through his research, Dr. Meanley aims to leverage community stakeholder perspectives to translate identified resiliencies into effective HIV treatment and prevention programming.

Resources for HIV treatment and prevention continue to evolve beyond critical advances such as U=U and PrEP that have emerged over the past few years. Dr. Meanley’s program of research seeks to improve how HIV prevention experts and stakeholders understand the ways in which the roll out these advancements are maximized for priority populations across the intersections of adolescence, sexual and gender minority identity, and communities of color. This insight will not only be integral to facilitating individuals’ engagement across the HIV treatment and prevention continua, but will also inform service delivery initiatives as the next generation of treatment and prevention modalities become available.

The job for community health experts isn’t just to continue telling people what they can’t or shouldn’t do to prevent negative health outcomes. We must use our research and program planning platforms to embrace and build upon communities’ strengths, assets, and needs to support equitable health care delivery.


  • PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 2017
  • MPH, University of Michigan, 2013
  • BA, Northwestern University, 2011

Social Justice

Dr. Meanley’s research is motivated by the ongoing disparities in HIV and co-morbid conditions (e.g., STIs and mental health) that negatively impact communities from socially-disadvantaged backgrounds. The incremental progress to narrow these disparities highlights how the systems that are designed or intended to facilitate positive health outcomes are not being equitably implemented. The advancements in HIV treatment and prevention over the past decade have provided HIV prevention experts with the tools to drastically reduce rates of HIV Infection and positively support the quality of life of persons living with HIV. Through Dr. Meanley’s research, he aims to streamline the needs, strengths, and perspectives of local HIV-affected communities with clinical and organizational resources whose missions are to support these communities through HIV treatment and prevention initiatives.


Dr. Meanley currently serves as a co-instructor for NURS 380: Nursing in the Community and has previously taught courses on program planning and proposal writing for community health initiatives. Dr. Meanley has also given guest lectures in public health theories and research methods.


Dr. Meanley applies his background in social and behavioral epidemiology to inform HIV-affected communities’ resilience factors and processes over the life course. Much of Dr. Meanley’s work has acknowledged intersectional experiences of stigma as ongoing barriers to HIV treatment and prevention, and psychological well-being, particularly among men who have sex with men and transgender women. Dr. Meanley is currently working on community-level projects that aim to balance minimizing HIV stigma and misinformation with identifying and supporting factors that facilitate engagement in HIV-related healthcare.

Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing

Alongside interdisciplinary experts at Penn Medicine, Dr. Meanley was recently appointed to develop and co-direct the Implementation Science Program for Ending the HIV Epidemic Research (ISPHERE), a scientific working group at the Penn Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). As ISPHERE continues to develop, the working group will serve as a resource to connect interested public health/HIV researchers and community stakeholders to collaborate on Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) initiatives throughout Philadelphia. Currently, Dr. Meanley’s EHE projects bring together collaborative experts and partners at Penn Nursing, the Penn Mental Health and AIDS Research (PMHARC), Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In recent years, Dr. Meanley has collaborated externally with experts affiliated with the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study to better understand healthy aging processes of men who have sex with men. Through this partnership, Dr. Meanley has sought to better understand manifestations of homophobia and intersectional stigma across the life course and how these experiences inform psychosocial well-being in older adulthood.

Selected Career Highlights

  • 2018-2020 Fellow, Research Education Institute for Diverse Scholars through the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) at Yale University
  • 2018-2019 Inaugural Member, Mid-Atlantic CFAR Consortium Scholars Program