Sarahmona Przybyla, an HIV and AIDS researcher in the School of Public Health and Health Professions, was honored on Dec. 1 by New York State Commissioner of Health Howard A. Zucker as part of a virtual summit marking 2020 World AIDS Day.
Przybyla, assistant professor of community health and health behavior, received one of the Commissioner’s Special Recognition Awards during the Ending the Epidemic Summit, which started Dec. 1 and concludes Dec. 3 with all events taking place virtually under the theme “The Story of Ending the Epidemic: Past, Present, and Future.”
“Dr. Przybyla is an innovator in the field of HIV prevention research,” the commissioner’s award citation states. “Her contributions to scientific literature have led to advancements in pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake and dissemination.”
Przybyla also was honored for the strong partnerships she’s developed over the past decade with local nonprofit organizations, health departments and county court systems to understand barriers to, and enhance engagement in, HIV care.
“Dr. Przybyla is a fierce advocate and inspires all who meet her. Dr. Przybyla has positioned herself on the forefront of public health to inform, educate and empower others to be in control of their sexual health,” the award notes.
Przybyla’s research focuses on primary and secondary prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and the impact of substance use on sexual risk behavior and medication adherence. She is also an expert on nonmedical prescription drug use, patient-provider communication and community-based participatory research.
In addition to her faculty role in the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior, Przybyla serves as assistant dean and director of undergraduate public health programs for the School of Public Health and Health Professions.
As part of her research on antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, Przybyla developed a smartphone app called DRUM that helped people living with HIV self-report on daily substance use and ART adherence.
She also currently teaches the school’s first-ever course on pandemics and public health preparedness and response.