Dr. Maria Luis Zuñiga

Dr. Maria Luisa Zuniga

María Luisa Zúñiga, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Behavioral Epidemiologist in the Division of Global Public Health, University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. She holds a secondary appointment in the UCSD Division of Child Development and Community Health and serves as Core Faculty for the UCSD/SDSU Joint Doctoral Programs in Global Health and Health Behavior. She earned her Master’s degree in International Relations and Pacific Studies at UCSD in 1992 and completed her doctoral degree in Epidemiology in the UCSD-SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health in 1999. Dr. Zúñiga is PI and Co-Director of the Hispanic Serving Health Professions scholar training program at UCSD. She specializes in mentorship of doctoral and medical students and residents from under-represented communities in the U.S., as well as serving as an invited instructor and thesis advisor for Mexican Master’s in Public Health students from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC) in Tijuana.
Dr. Zúñiga’s research focus is on improving the health of Latino populations living with HIV/AIDS in the US-Mexico border region. Specific areas of health research include: Complementary and Alternative Medicine use among HIV-Positive individuals living in the US-Mexico border region, HIV and related co-morbidities, HIV-related stigma and HIV-transmitting risk behaviors, including HIV prevention in high-risk youth; access to health care for persons who migrate between Latin America and the U.S.; and health care delivery systems in the US and Mexico and binational health care access and utilization. Dr. Zúñiga specializes in Community–Based Participatory Research (CBPR) through collaboration with community-based agencies and clinics in California and Mexico in the development of research studies and evaluation of community-based initiatives.

Recently, Dr. Zuñiga was interviewed in the March 2013 issue  of the HSHPS newsletter.


Selected Publications:

  1. Zúñiga ML, Blanco E, Sanchez L, Carroll S, Olshefsky A. (2009). Preventing HIV and Other Sexually-Transmitted Infections and Reducing HIV-Stigmatizing Attitudes in High-Risk Youth: Evaluation of a Comprehensive Community-Based and Peer Facilitated Curriculum. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 4(4):333-342.
  2. Zúñiga ML, Brennan J, Scolari R, Strathdee SA (2008). Barriers to HIV Care in the Context of Cross-Border Health Care Utilization among HIV-Positive Persons Living in the California/Baja California US-Mexico Border Region. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 10(3):219-227.
  3. Muñoz FA, Pollini RA, Zúñiga ML, Strathdee SA, Lozada R, Martínez GA, Valles-Medina AM, Sirotin N, Patterson TL. (2010). Condom Access: Associations with Consistent Condom Use among Female Sex Workers in Two Northern Border Cities of Mexico. AIDS Education and Prevention (accepted).
  4. Zúñiga ML, Strathdee SA, Blanco E, Patterson TL. (2010) Community HIV Preventive Interventions. In Suls J, Kaplan RM, Davidson KW (eds.), Handbook of Health Psychology. New York: Guilford Press.

Research Projects:

  1. Barriers to Care & Treatment Practices in HIV+ Latinos in the US-Mexico Border. Funding source: NIMH R21-MH084266
  2. CAM Use and Behavior in HIV+ Latinos in the US-Mexico. Funding source: NCCAM R21-AT004676