Lisa Messersmith

Associate Professor, Global Health

University of California, Los Angeles, PhD, MA
The Johns Hopkins University, MPH

  • Office: Crosstown Center, CT363
  • Phone: 617-414-1449
  • Email: ljmesser@bu.edu

Biography

Lisa J. Messersmith, PhD, MPH, has 25 years of research, program and policy experience in gender, sexuality, HIV, and sexual and reproductive health and rights primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia.  Dr. Messersmith is currently Associate Professor of Global Health at Boston University School of Public Health and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Boston University’s College of Arts and Sciences.  Dr. Messersmith is the principal investigator (PI) on several studies, most recently on two studies in Ghana that explore the behavioral, socio-economic and structural vulnerability to HIV of injecting drug users and women who work in bars; a study to better understand and meet the HIV and reproductive health and social service needs of women living with HIV/AIDS in Vietnam; and a national study to document the types and magnitude of discrimination against people living with HIV in Vietnam. She was also PI and Director of the Vietnam AIDS Policy and Planning Project, a project that trained nearly 850 senior national and provincial level Vietnamese policy makers to design, implement and evaluate multi-sectoral responses to HIV.  She has worked in residence for over 13 years in Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Vietnam and has worked in a number of other countries including Thailand, Ghana, China, India, Senegal, Brazil, and Jamaica. From 1998 to 2004 she served as the Sexuality and Reproductive Health Program Officer for the Ford Foundation’s Office for Vietnam and Thailand. Based in Hanoi, Dr. Messersmith initiated the Foundation’s grant making program in sexuality and reproductive health. In 2004, the Vietnam Ministry of Health awarded her the Medal for the People’s Health.  Other previous positions include Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy and Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government; Visiting Fellow at Harvard University’s Francois Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights; Country Programme Advisor for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Bangladesh; Research Associate in the Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health; Women and AIDS Advisor at the United States Agency for International Development in Washington, DC. , and Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso.  She has a PhD and MA in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles, a Masters in Public Health (MPH) from Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Hamilton College.

 

Projects

Publications

Drug Use and Sexual Behavior: The Multiple HIV Vulnerabilities of Men and Women Who Inject Drugs in Kumasi, Ghana

Lisa J. Messersmith, Rose Adjei, Jennifer Beard, Thomas Agyarko-Poku, Peter Wondergem, Ariel Falconer, Lora Sabin, and Yaw Adu-Sarkodie

JAIDS. 2015 Mar; 68(Supplement 2):S69-S252.

HIV Vulnerability of Men and Women Who Inject Drugs in Kumasi, Ghana

Lisa Messersmith, Jennifer Beard, Rose Adjei, Thomas Agyarko-Poku, Dana Longobardi, Ariel Falconer, Lora Sabin & Yaw Adu-Sarkodie

Washington, DC: USAID Project SEARCH; 2014 Jul.

The Ghana Retention on ART Study (ROARS): Keeping HIV-positive Patients on Antiretroviral Therapy

Lora Sabin, Dana Longobardi, Thomas Agyarko Poku, Allyssa Abacan, Mya Myint Zu Kyaw, Ariel Falconer, Mabel Kissiwah Asafo, Lisa Messersmith, Jennifer Beard, and Yaw Adu-Sarkodie

Washington, DC: USAID Project SEARCH; 2014 Jul.

“I can decide to use the property I have to make money”: HIV Vulnerability of Bar Workers and Bar Patrons in Kumasi, Ghana

Lisa Messersmith, Jennifer Beard, Thomas Agyarko-Poku, Dana Longobardi, Mabel Asafo, Caitlin Corneliess, Elizabeth Daube, Paul Ashigbie, Ariel Falconer, & Yaw Adu-Sarkodie

Washington, DC: USAID Project SEARCH; 2014 Feb.

Local Perceptions, Cultural Beliefs and Practices That Shape Umbilical Cord Care: A Qualitative Study in Southern Province, Zambia

Julie M. Herlihy, Affan Shaikh, Arthur Mazimba, Natalie Gagne, Caroline Grogan, Chipo Mpamba, Bernadine Sooli, Grace Simamvwa, Catherine Mabeta, Peggy Shankoti, Lisa Messersmith, Katherine Semrau, and Davidson H. Hamer

PLOS ONE. 2013 Nov; 8(11):1-14.

Women living with HIV in Vietnam: desire for children, use of sexual and reproductive health services, and advice from providers

Lisa J. Messersmith, Katherine Semrau, Tran Lan Anh, Nguyen Nguyen Nhu Trang, Dao Mai Hoa, Kristin Eifler and Lora Sabin

Reproductive Health Matters. 2012 Dec; 20(39):27-38.

‘Many people know the law, but also many people violate it’: Discrimination experienced by people living with HIV/ AIDS in Vietnam – Results of a national study

Lisa J. Messersmith, Katherine Semrau, Theodore M. Hammett, Nguyen Tuan Phong, Nguyen Duy Tung, Ha Nguyen, Douglas Glandon, Nguyen Mai Huong & Hoang Tu Anh

Global Public Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice. 2012 Sep; 1-16.

Sectarianism and the problem of overpopulation: political representations of reproduction in two low-income neighbourhoods of Beirut, Lebanon

Ashish Premkumar, Karma Salem, Sarah Akhtar , Mary E. Deeb & Lisa J. Messersmith

Culture, Health & Sexuality: An International Journal for Research, Intervention and Care. 2012 Sep; 1-14.

Lived Experience and Contested Domains: Sexuality and Reproductive and Sexual Health Decision-Making of Women Living with HIV in Vietnam

Messersmith L.

Culture, Health and Sexuality: An International Journal for Research, Intervention and Care. 2009 Jan; 11(Supplement 1):S89-90.

Making AIDS Policy Sexy: Evaluation of AIDS Policy Training to Engender a Gendered and Human Rights Response in Vietnam

Messersmith L.

Culture, Health and Sexuality: An International Journal for Research, Intervention and Care. 2009 Jan; 11(Supplement 1):S73-74.

Final Report of the Evaluation of the Vietnam AIDS Public Policy Training Project

Messersmith L., Eifler K., Smith A., Tran H. B.

Boston, MA: Center for International Health and Development, Boston University School of Public Health, and Hanoi School of Public Health; 2009.

Integrating the Fields of Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS

Kaufman J., Messersmith L.

Chicago, IL: MacArthur Foundation; 2005.

Gender and HIV/AIDS

Messersmith L.

AIDS Public Policy Training Project. Cambridge, MA: Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; 2005.

Who’s at Risk? Men’s STD Experience and Condom Use in Southwest Nigeria

Messersmith L. J., Kane T. T., Odebiyi A. I., Adewuyi A. A.

Stud Fam Plann. 2000 Oct; 31(3):203-16.

Reconceptualizing Risk: A Feminist Analysis of HIV/AIDS

Long L., Messersmith L.

The Encyclopedia of Third World Women. Stromquist N.. New York: Garland Publishing; 1997.

Trust, Power and Commitment: The Social and Economic Determinants of Sexual Behavior in Urban Southwest Nigeria.

Messersmith L.

Ph. D. Thesis Department of Anthropology. Los Angeles, CA: University of California, Los Angeles; 1994.

Effectiveness of HIV Counseling and Testing in Changing High-Risk Sexual Behavior: An Annotated Bibliography

Messersmith L.

Behavioral Research Unit. Arlington, Virginia: AIDSCAP, Family Health International; 1992.

An Introduction to Qualitative Methods

Messersmith L.

Child Survival Support Program. Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health; 1992.

The Women of Good Times and Baba’s Place: The Multi-Dimensionality of the Lives of Commercial Sex Workers in Bamako, Mali

Messersmith L.

Master's Thesis Department of Anthropology University of California, Los Angeles. Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles; 1991.

Mali Country Profile

Messersmith L.

Family Planning Management Training Project. Boston, MA: Management Sciences for Health; 1989.