Lisa J. Messersmith, PhD
Associate Professor
Boston University School of Public Health
Dept of Global Health

PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
MPH, Johns Hopkins University
MA, University of California, Los Angeles

Lisa J. Messersmith has over 25 years of research, program and policy experience on gender, sexuality, HIV, and sexual and reproductive health and rights in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia. Dr. Messersmith is the principal investigator (PI) on several studies, most recently on a National Institute of Mental Health-funded study to test the effectiveness of wireless technology and data-informed counseling to improve retention in HIV care and adherence to antiretroviral therapy in HIV positive pregnant and postpartum women in Uganda. Other current research includes: a randomized control trial to evaluate interventions to address intimate partner violence in Tanzania; two studies in Ghana that explore the behavioral, socio-economic and structural vulnerability to HIV of people who inject drugs and women who work in bars; a study on the HIV and reproductive health and social service needs of women living with HIV and the first national study to document the types and magnitude of discrimination experienced by people living with HIV in Vietnam. She was also the principal investigator and Director of the Vietnam AIDS Policy and Planning Project, which trained nearly 850 senior policy makers at national and provincial level to design, implement and evaluate rights-based and multi-sectoral responses to HIV. Dr. Messersmith worked in residence for over 13 years in Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Vietnam and has worked in a number of other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Before joining BU SPH in 2007 she was as an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy and Research Fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. From 1998 to 2004 Dr. Messersmith served as the Sexuality and Reproductive Health Program Officer for the Ford Foundation's Office for Vietnam and Thailand. Prior to her departure in 2004, the Vietnam Ministry of Health awarded her the Medal for the People's Health. In 2003, Dr. Messersmith was a visiting fellow at the Francois Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health. She served as the Country Programme Advisor for UNAIDS in Bangladesh from 1996 to 1998. From 1994 to 1995 she was a Research Associate in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and concurrently served as the Women and AIDS advisor for USAID in Washington, DC. Dr. Messersmith's career in international health and development began in Burkina Faso in 1985 where she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She has a PhD and MA in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles, a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Hamilton College.

Associate Professor
Boston University College of Arts and Sciences

2010 Boston University School of Public Health: Excellent in Teaching Award
2004 Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Medal for the People's Health
2003 International Health and Human Rights Program, Francois Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human : Fellow
1993-1994 American Association of University Women Educational Foundation: American Fellow
1993-1994 University of California, Los Angeles: Chancellor's Dissertation Year Fellowship
1992-1993 Fulbright Fellowship for dissertation research in Nigeria
1991 UCLA: Department of Anthropology Tuition Fellowship
1990 UCLA: Center for the Study of Women Research and Travel Award
1990-1991 National Resource Fellowship (Title VI)
1990 UCLA: Department of Anthropology Awards Committee Research Grant
1983 Hamilton College: Thomas E. Meehan Prize for Distinction in Creative Writing

Improving ART Retention and Adherence in Uganda: the WiseMama Study
09/01/2014 - 06/30/2018 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health

Mixed Method Study to Test the Effectiveness of TEVAW: A program to reduce intimate partner violence through women's empowerment, male peer groups
09/01/2014 - 11/30/2016 (PI)
World Education, Inc

Engendering the Care and Treatment Response: Addressing the Need of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
07/01/2008 - 02/28/2010 (PI)
Center for Community Health and Development (COHED) USAID

Vietnam AIDS Policy and Planning Project
10/01/2007 - 05/31/2009 (PI)

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

  1. Simmons E, Halim N, Servidone M, Steven E, Reich N, Badi L, Holmes N, Kawemama P, Messersmith LJ. Prevention and Mitigation of Intimate-Partner Violence: The Role of Community Leaders in Tanzania. Violence Against Women. 2019 Mar 21; 1077801219832923.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30898055.
  2. Halim N, Steven E, Reich N, Badi L, Messersmith L. Variability and validity of intimate partner violence reporting by couples in Tanzania. PLoS One. 2018; 13(3):e0193253.View Related Profiles. PMID: 29518162.
  3. Messersmith LJ, Halim N, Steven Mzilangwe E, Reich N, Badi L, Holmes NB, Servidone M, Simmons E, Kawemama P. Childhood Trauma, Gender Inequitable Attitudes, Alcohol Use and Multiple Sexual Partners: Correlates of Intimate Partner Violence in Northern Tanzania. J Interpers Violence. 2017 Sep 01; 886260517731313.View Related Profiles. PMID: 29294914.
  4. Messersmith LJ, Adjei R, Beard J, Agyarko-Poku T, Wondergem P, Falconer A, Sabin L, Adu-Sarkodie Y. Drug use and sexual behavior: the multiple HIV vulnerabilities of men and women who inject drugs in Kumasi, Ghana. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2015 Mar 1; 68 Suppl 2:S124-30.View Related Profiles. PMID: 25723976; DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000000445;.
  5. Trout CH, Dembélé O, Diakité D, Bougoudogo F, Doumbia B, Mathieu J, Haidara A, Sangaré A, Traoré S, Burtner J, Cabral H, Messersmith LJ. West African female sex workers in Mali: reduction in HIV prevalence and differences in risk profiles of sex workers of differing nationalities of origin. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2015 Mar 1; 68 Suppl 2:S221-31.View Related Profiles. PMID: 25723988; DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000000444;.
  6. Herlihy JM, Shaikh A, Mazimba A, Gagne N, Grogan C, Mpamba C, Sooli B, Simamvwa G, Mabeta C, Shankoti P, Messersmith L, Semrau K, Hamer DH. Local perceptions, cultural beliefs and practices that shape umbilical cord care: a qualitative study in Southern Province, Zambia. PLoS One. 2013; 8(11):e79191.View Related Profiles. PMID: 24244447; PMCID: PMC3820671; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079191;.
  7. Messersmith L, Beard J, Agyarko-Poku T, Longobardi D, Asafo M, Corneliess C, Daube E, Ashigbie P, Falconer A, and Adu-Sarkodie Y. Understanding the Social, Economic and Behavioral Vulnerability to HIV of Women Working in Bars and Restaurants in Kumasi, Ghana. National AIDS Conference in Accra, Ghana. 2013.
  8. Messersmith LJ, Semrau K, Anh TL, Trang NN, Hoa DM, Eifler K, Sabin L. Women living with HIV in Vietnam: desire for children, use of sexual and reproductive health services, and advice from providers. Reprod Health Matters. 2012 Dec; 20(39 Suppl):27-38.View Related Profiles. PMID: 23177678; DOI: 10.1016/S0968-8080(12)39640-7;.
  9. Premkumar A, Salem K, Akhtar S, Deeb ME, Messersmith LJ. Sectarianism and the problem of overpopulation: political representations of reproduction in two low-income neighbourhoods of Beirut, Lebanon. Cult Health Sex. 2012; 14(10):1139-52. PMID: 22978599; DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2012.721137;.
  10. Messersmith LJ, Semrau K, Hammett TM, Phong NT, Tung ND, Nguyen H, Glandon D, Huong NM, Anh HT. 'Many people know the law, but also many people violate it': discrimination experienced by people living with HIV/AIDS in Vietnam--results of a national study. Glob Public Health. 2013; 8 Suppl 1:S30-45.View Related Profiles. PMID: 22974225; DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2012.721893;.
Showing 10 of 27 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 27 publications over 15 distinct years, with a maximum of 4 publications in 2010

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