Patrick Wilson, PhD, is currently an Associate Professor and the Director of the SPHERE (Society, Psychology, and Health Research) Lab at Columbia University. Dr. Wilson earned his PhD in community psychology from New York University and completed an NIMH Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University. In addition to teaching at the Mailman School of Public Health, Dr. Wilson specializes in exploring the psychological, social, and cultural contexts that shape individual and community-level health outcomes. He conducts his work with the overall goal of improving the lives of those who are disproportionally affected by HIV and other health disparities. Dr. Wilson's recent work includes examining institutional and community responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, designing and testing culturally appropriate behavior change interventions, developing novel technology-based methods for investigating health behaviors, and increasing cultural relevance in HIV/AIDS research. Specific topics of interest also include trauma, stigma and discrimination, religion, engagement in care, and personal factors including self-efficacy and empowerment. Dr. Wilson holds membership in several research centers and networks within and outside of Columbia University and conducts national and local studies that involve the participation of a diverse set of collaborators and community members. His research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Honors & Awards
Areas of Expertise
Select Urban Health Activities
Power and risk among gay couples: This study entails collecting qualitative and quantitative data from Black and White gay couples in New York City and San Francisco with the aim of identifying and exploring factors associated with power dynamics in men's intimate relationships and the association between power and HIV risk. The project also aims to develop and pilot test a comprehensive power scale that addresses structural, cultural, and interpersonal power differences among Black, White, and biracial gay couples and to examine the association of within- and between-couple variables, including power, couple race, and couple serostatus, with HIV risk.
Efficacy trial of a brief health enhancement intervention for newly diagnosed men : The study involves running a randomized controlled efficacy trial of Promoting Action Towards Health (PATH), a brief health-enhancement and risk reduction intervention targeting newly HIV diagnosed men who have sex with men. The experimental and comparison interventions will be delivered to over 400 men at two community health clinics in New York City. Our team seeks to understand of PATH participants (1) achieve significantly greater suppression of HIV viral load; (2) demonstrate greater uptake of care and adherence to treatment; and (3) engage in less sexual HIV transmission risk behavior across the study duration than participants in the comparison condition.
Daily psychosocial determinants of ART adherence in substance-using Black men: This study explores how daily fluctuations in substance use, affect, and stressful experiences and support (particularly experiences of acceptance/belonging and rejection/discrimination attributed to stigmatized identities including race, sexual orientation, and HIV status) influence adherence to ART among HIV-positive Black MSM. The study will collect longitudinal data using a 3-week Internet-based diary with a sample of 90 HIV-positive, young (18 to 30 years old) Black MSM; in-depth interviews will also be collected with a sub-sample of 30 participants. Analyses will provide information on situation-behavior links and the data will be used to develop a brief, personally-tailored daily proactive planning intervention to improve adherence.
Select Global Activities
Columbia-Vietnam Social Science Training and Research Partnership: STAR II, Vietnam: This project expands an existing infrastructure program, STAR I (Social Science Training and Research), to strengthen research capacity at Hanoi Medical University (HMU). The objectives of this application are to build upon the current infrastructure program and develop the STAR II program for the purpose of providing additional technical and research assistance to HMU and enable it to emerge as the hub for the production and dissemination of knowledge related to behavioral and social science AIDS research in Vietnam.
Wilson, P. A., Valera, P., Martos, A., Wittlin, N., Munoz-Laboy, M. A., & Parker, R. G. (2015). Contributions of qualitative research in informing HIV/AIDS interventions targeting Black MSM in the United States. Journal of Sex Research. [Epub ahead of print]
Wilson, P. A., Stadler, G., Boone, M., & Bolger, N. (2014). Fluctuations in depression and well-being are associated with sexual risk episodes among HIV-positive men. Health Psychology, 33, 681-685.
Boone, M., Cook, S. H., & Wilson, P. A. (2012). Substance use and sexual risk behavior in HIV-positive men who have sex with men: An episode-level analysis. AIDS & Behavior, 17(5), 1883-1887.
Wilson, P. A., Wittlin, N. M., Munoz-Laboy, M., & Parker, R. (2011). Ideologies of Black churches in New York City and the public health crisis of HIV among Black men who have sex with men. Global Public Health, 6(S2), S227-S242.
Meyer, I. H., & Wilson, P. A. (2009). Sampling lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(1), 23-31.
Wilson, P. A., & Moore, T. E. (2009). Public health responses to the HIV epidemic among Black men who have sex with men: A qualitative study of health departments and communities in the U.S. American Journal of Public Health, 99 1013-1022.
Wilson, P. A., Valera, P., Ventuneac, A., Balan, I., Rowe, M., & Carballo-Di'guez, A. (2009). Race-based sexual stereotyping and sexual partnering among men who use the Internet to identify other men for bareback sex. Journal of Sex Research, 46, 1-15.
Wilson, P. A., Cook, S. H., McGaskey, J., Rowe, M., & Dennis, N. (2008). Situational predictors of sexual risk episodes among HIV-positive men who have sex with men Sexually Transmitted Infections, 84, 506-508.
Wilson, P. A. (2008). A dynamic-ecological model of identity conflict among African-American men who engage in bisexual behavior. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37, 794-809.
Wilson, P.A., & Yoshikawa, H. (2004). Experiences of and responses to social discrimination among Asian and Pacific Islander gay men: their relationship to HIV risk. AIDS Education & Prevention, 16, 68-83.