Public Health Research Assistant Position

This page details a Research Assistant opportunity abroad in public health that will be available for application at DIS Stockholm.

HIV and Reproductive Technology Access
Researcher: Rachel Irwin
Focus: Public Health
DIS Location: Stockholm

About the Research:
Medical advancements have turned human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from a deadly disease into a chronic one, and the use of antiretroviral therapies and pre-exposure prophylaxis can limit the transmission of HIV to negligible levels.

People living with HIV who wish to have biological children will require some level of assisted reproductive technology (ART) to prevent partner-to-partner or mother-to-child transmission. They may also require further reproductive health assistance to address underlying infertility. However, many reproductive health clinics refuse to treat people living with HIV. These barriers often force people to seek treatment across borders and, in the European context, this raises questions about the responsibility for financing cross-border care.

Learning Objectives Include:
The Research Assistant will examine how people living with HIV navigate the web of local, national, and European Union-level policies regarding the access to and financing of reproductive health assistance. They will also explore the issue from the welfare state perspective: how do norms and values about the right to health affect the experience of seeking reproductive care?

Understand the basics of qualitative health policy and systems research
Gain experience in developing and administering surveys
Gain experience in academic writing
Present findings in a poster/gain experience with graphical displays in findings and communicating information

Researcher Bio:
Rachel Irwin is a postdoctoral research fellow in medical humanities at Lund University, where her research is on Sweden’s cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO). Prior to this, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Karolinska Institutet (2014-2016), where she led a project on women living with HIV in Stockholm. She has a Ph.D. in social anthropology, a M.Phil in medical anthropology, an MS.c. in International Health Policy.