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Woman with Head Scarf


Exploring the transformation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic through the eyes of women.

How do women living with

HIV/AIDS confront inequality?

As a scholar working at the intersection of sociology, African American Studies, and public policy studies, in 2005 I began conducting interviews and participant-observation with black women living with HIV/AIDS in Chicago to understand the epidemic’s impact on this group. Over the course of a decade, my research team and I expanded this research, culminating in interviews with over 100 women living with HIV of diverse racial, ethnic, class, and sexual identities and backgrounds in Chicago. We also conducted interviews with over seventy-five advocates, activists, policy officials, and service providers who focus on HIV/AIDS throughout the United States.


Explaining the medical, political, social, and cultural transformation of HIV from a death sentence to a manageable chronic disease is the goal at the center of my work. In Remaking a Life: How Women Living with HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality, I analyze both the evolution of the HIV epidemic and the movement of women at the center of the epidemic, from death to life in contexts of stigmatization and disadvantage.


What the HIV Safety Net Can Teach Us About the Fight Against COVID-19.

The Detroit Free Press OpEd by Dr. Celeste Watkins-Hayes, January 6, 2021.

What Jonathan Van Ness’s Story Teaches Us About the H.I.V. Epidemic.

New York Times OpEd by Dr. Celeste Watkins-Hayes, September 24, 2019.

The Supreme Court’s Critical Call on Prostitution and HIV

The Atlantic

Ending the AIDS Epidemic

Need to Know on PBS

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