Rafael Perez-Figueroa

Rafael Perez-Figueroa

Rafael Perez-Figueroa

Assistant Professor
Population and Family Health and Pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center


New York City NY USA 10032


Dr. Rafael E. Perez-Figueroa, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Population and Family Health at Columbia University Medical Center; and Assistant Director of the IFAP Global Health Program. Dr. Perez-Figueroa's research work focuses on the study of health disparities among vulnerable populations including Latino immigrants and sexual and racial minorities. He studies public health issues related to HIV prevention and care, sexually transmitted infections, and substance use and abuse. He does this by engaging in theoretically driven research studies that seek to disentangle the effects of different social determinants of health on the health outcomes of these populations. He is a fellow on Hispanic drug abuse from National Institute of Drug Abuse and a fellow of the NYU Postdoctoral and Transition Program for Academy Diversity. His research work has been published in the American Journal of Public Health, AIDS Patient Care and STDs, and Prevention Science, among other high-impact journals, and he served on the editorial board of Behavioral Medicine. He holds a M.D. degree from the Pontifical "Madre y Maestra" Catholic University in the Dominican Republic and an MPH degree from New York University in Global Health Leadership.



MD, 2005, Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra
MPH, 2012, New York University

Editorial Boards

Associate Editor, Behavioral Medicine, 2013-2015

Columbia Affiliations

Assistant Director, IFAP Global Health Program

Other Affiliations

Honors & Awards

Research Fellow of the Interdisciplinary Research Training Institute on Hispanic Drug Abuse, NIDA, 2013
Steinhardt Research Development Fund, NYU, 2013
Fellow of the NYU Postdoctoral and Transition Program for Academic Diversity, NYU, 2012

Areas of Expertise

Global Health, HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Lesbian / Gay / Bisexual / Transgender Health, Sexuality, Reproductive Rights, Sex Education and Safe Sex, Infectious Disease and Drug Use

Select Urban Health Activities

IFAP Global Health Program: The IFAP Global Health Program supports domestic and international summer internships, scholarly projects, clinical elective rotations, and extended research opportunities for students, trainees, and practitioners of medicine, public health, nursing, and dentistry. IFAP introduced the first AIDS treatment in the Dominican Republic to prevent mother-to-baby HIV transmission (1999), started the first family AIDS clinic in the country (2004), and has broadened its scope of services beyond HIV to include primary care for high-risk women (2006) and prenatal care for pregnant adolescents (2008). In addition, IFAP sponsors language and cultural immersion experiences in Washington Heights and Chinatown to help students better understand the health care needs of immigrant communities in New York City.

Select Global Activities

Cli­nica de Familia La Romana, Dominican Republic: Clinica de Familia La Romana is an organization that aims to improve the quality of life of the poorest and most vulnerable populations in the eastern Dominican Republic by providing high quality health, education, and psychological support services to those most in need, including adults and children with HIV, sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), and adolescents. Cli­nica de Familia has a holistic, family-centered approach that includes specialized medical care, social services, community outreach, prevention, and education programs. Our mission is to improve the health of families in the eastern region of the Dominican Republic, including vulnerable people, through comprehensive health services, education, and research.

Select Publications

Pérez-Figueroa, R.E.; Halkitis, P.N.; Barton, S.C.; Eddy, J.A.; Kapadia, F.K. (2015). Acceptability of pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention among young men who have sex with men in New York City: attitudes and perceptions. AIDS Education and Prevention. August 26.

Amesty, S.; Crawford, N.; Nandi, V.; Pérez-Figueroa, R.E.; Rivera, A.; Sutton, M.… Lewis, C. (2015). Evaluation of pharmacy-based HIV testing in a high-risk New York City Community. AIDS Patient Care and STDs. July 28.

Uhler, L.M.; Pérez-Figueroa, R.E.; Kushniruk, A.; Monkman, H.; Witteman, H.; Hajizadeh, N. (2015). Development and usability testing of “Informed Together”, a web-based decision aid to facilitate shared advance care planning for severe COPD. Journal of Medical Internet Research. Feb 25.

Salas-Wright, C.P.; Robles, E.H.; Vaughn, M.G.; Cordova, D.; Pérez-Figueroa, R.E. (2015). Toward a Typology of Acculturative Stress: Results among Hispanic Immigrants in the United States. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences. Mar 24.

Halkitis, P.N.; Kapadia, F.K.; Ompad, D.C.; Pérez-Figueroa, R.E. (2015). Moving Towards a Holistic Conceptual Framework for Understanding Healthy Aging among Gay Men. Journal of Homosexuality. Jan 5.

Kapadia, F.K.; Halkitis, P.N.; Barton, S.C.; Siconolfi, D.; Pérez-Figueroa, R.E. (2014). Associations between social support network-characteristics and receipt of emotional and material support among a sample of sexual minority youth. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services. Jan 1; 26(3): 279-302.

Halkitis, P.N.; Pérez-Figueroa, R.E.; Carreiro, T.; Kingdon, M.; Kupprat, S.A.; Eddy, J. (2014). Psychosocial Burdens Negatively Impact HIV Antiretroviral Adherence in Gay, Bisexual, and other MSM Ages 50 and Older. Aids Care. May 27:1-9.

Kupprat, S.A.; Halkitis, P.N.; Pérez-Figueroa, R.E.; Solomon, T.M.; Ashman, T.; Kingdon, M.J.; Levy, M.D. (2013). Age- and education-matched comparison of aging HIV+ men who have sex with men to general population on common neuropsychological assessments. Journal of Health Psychology. 18(11), Retrieved from http://hpq.sagepub.com.

Halkitis, P.N.; Pérez-Figueroa, R.E. (2013). Sociodemographic characteristics explain differences in unprotected sexual behavior among young HIV-negative gay, bisexual, and other YMSM in New York City. AIDS Patient Care and STDs. 27(3), 181-190.

Halkitis, P.N.; Kupprat, S.A.; Hampton, M.E.; Pérez-Figueroa, R.E.; Kingdon, M.; Eddy, J.; Ompad, D.C. (2012). Evidence for a syndemic in aging HIV-positive gay, bisexual, and other MSM: Implications for a holistic approach to prevention and healthcare. Annals of Anthropological Practice. 36(2), 365-386.

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