Research by Dr. Mary Ann Chiasson centers on the epidemiology of HIV, particularly risk factors for sexual transmission and biomedical and behavioral prevention; reproductive health; and maternal and early childhood obesity. Her current HIV-related research focuses on the relationship between the Internet and high risk sexual behavior among men who have sex with men and CHAIN, an ongoing prospective cohort study of representative samples of persons living with HIV/AIDS in New York City (NYC) and the Tri-County region. She co-directed the HIV/AIDS Epidemiology course at Mailman from 1989-2015. Dr. Chiasson served in various capacities at the New York City Department of Health from 1986 - 1999 including nine years as an assistant commissioner of health with scientific and administrative responsibility for AIDS Surveillance, HIV/AIDS Research, and Vital Statistics and Epidemiology. In 1999 Dr. Chiasson was appointed vice president for research and evaluation at Public Health Solutions (PHS), a large non-profit organization that provides health-related services, conducts demonstration and research programs, and offers management services in order to improve community health and strengthen health policy. She retired from PHS in 2018.
DrPH, 1988, Columbia University
MPH, 1985, Columbia University
MS, 1978, New York University
BA, 1972, Bennington College
Affiliated Faculty, Division of Infectious Diseases
Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine
Member, Hermann Biggs Society 2002-2004
Institutional Review Board Member, New York Academy of Medicine
Board Member, Children of Bellevue, Bellevue Hospital Center
Areas of Expertise
Longitudinal Studies, Research Design and Methods, Infant Mortality, Underserved Populations, Women's Health, Public Health Leadership and Management, Obesity, HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Lesbian / Gay / Bisexual / Transgender Health, Child and Maternal Mortality, Family Planning, Reproductive Health, Sex Education and Safe Sex, Infectious Disease and Drug Use
Select Urban Health Activities
Community Health Advisory & Information Network (CHAIN Study): CHAIN is an ongoing prospective study of representative samples of persons living with HIV/AIDS in New York City (NYC) and the Tri-County region. As part of the evaluation activities supporting local Ryan White Part A services planning and quality improvement, the mission of CHAIN is to supply systematic data from the perspective of persons living with HIV about their needs for health and human services, their encounters with the full continuum of HIV services, and their physical, mental and social wellbeing. The CHAIN study has evolved into one of the most comprehensive client-based HIV prospective cohort studies launched by any metropolitan area in the US.
First Steps: Evaluation of New York State Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies : The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), a federally funded grant program, plays an important role in childhood obesity prevention for children from birth through age 4. The evaluation assessed the uptake and response among WIC staff and participants to the innovative WIC program elements for preventing obesity and identified positive interactions between WIC participation and participation in other state programs and community healthy living resources for children.
Health literacy, cervical cancer screening, and access to care among immigrant Latina women in New York City: This is a project exploring links between health literacy and cervical cancer screening in Latinas age 40 and over of varying nationalities in New York City.
Hirshfield S, Teran RA, Downing MJ, Chiasson MA, Tieu HV, Dize L, Gaydos CA. Quantification of HIV-1 RNA Among Men Who Have Sex with Men using an At-Home Self Collected Dried Blood Specimen: Feasibility Study. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2018 Nov 1;4(4):e10847. doi: 10.2196/10847. PMID: 30389648
Thomann M, Zapata R, Grosso A, Chiasson MA. WTF is PrEP?: Attitudes towards Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis among men who have sex with men and transgender women in New York City. Cult Health Sex. 2018 Jul;20(7):772-786. doi: 10.1080/13691058.2017.1380230. Epub 2017 Oct 6. PMID: 28982311
Garbers S, Flandrick K, Bermudez D, Meserve A, Chiasson MA. Improving contraceptive choice: fidelity of implementation and the gap between effectiveness and efficacy. Health Promot Pract. 2014 Nov;15(6):894-903. doi: 10.1177/1524839914530403. Epub 2014 Apr 15. PubMed PMID: 24737773.
Chiasson MA, Scheinmann R, Hartel D, McLeod N, Sekhobo J, Edmunds LS, Findley S. Predictors of Obesity in a Cohort of Children Enrolled in WIC as Infants and Retained to 3 Years of Age. J Community Health. 2016 Feb;41(1):127-33. doi: 10.1007/s10900-015-0077-2. PubMed PMID: 26280211.
Koblin B, Hirshfield S, Chiasson MA, Wilton L, Usher D, Nandi V, Hoover DR, Frye V. Intervention to Match Young Black Men and Transwomen Who Have Sex With Men or Transwomen to HIV Testing Options (All About Me): Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Res Protoc. 2017 Dec 19;6(12):e254. doi: 10.2196/resprot.8856. PubMed PMID: 29258976; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5750423
Yoon IS, Downing MJ Jr, Teran R, Chiasson MA, Houang ST, Parsons JT, Hirshfield S. Sexual risk taking and the HIV care continuum in an online sample of men who have sex with men. AIDS Care. 2018 Jul;30(7):921-929. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2017.1417535. Epub 2017 Dec 19. PubMed PMID: 29258341; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6094930.
Habel MA, Scheinmann R, Verdesoto E, Gaydos C, Bertisch M, Chiasson MA. Exploring pharmacy and home-based sexually transmissible infection testing. Sexual Health. 2015 Sep 28. doi: 10.1071/SH15031. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:26409484
Chiasson MA, Scheinmann R, Hartel D, McLeod N, Sekhobo J, Edmunds LS, and Findley S. Predictors of obesity in a cohort of children enrolled in WIC as infants and retained to three years of age. J Community Health. 2016. Feb;41(1):127-33. doi: 10.1007/s10900-015-0077-2. PMID:26280211
Garbers S, Friedman A, Martinez O, Scheinmann R, Bermudez D, Silva M, Silverman J, Chiasson MA. Adapting the Get Yourself Tested Campaign to Reach Black and Latino Sexual-Minority Youth.Health Promot Pract. 2016 May 24. pii: 1524839916647329. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:27225216
Hirshfield S, Downing MJ Jr, Parsons JT, Grov C, Gordon RJ, Houang ST, Scheinmann R, Sullivan PS, Yoon IS, Anderson I, Chiasson MA. Developing a Video-Based eHealth Intervention for HIV-Positive Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men: Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Res Protoc. 2016 Jun 17;5(2):e125. doi: 10.2196/resprot.5554.PMID:27315764