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Feature/News

Feature Spotlight: Erik Storholm, PhD

Erik Storholm, PhD is a core affiliate in the Combination Prevention Core at CHIPTS. He is an Associate Behavioral Scientist at the RAND Corporation and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. He is also a scholar in the UCLA HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse and Trauma Training Program and an affiliate research scientist in the Department of Research and Evaluation at Kaiser Permanente Southern California.  In addition to conducting research, Erik maintains an active private practice in West Hollywood, CA where he sees patients.

Erik’s work in health disparities began 15 years ago in San Francisco when he was volunteering at HIV/AIDS service organizations conducting outreach interventions to help document and reduce the spread of the virus among high-risk minority communities. This work stimulated his interest in understanding human behavior, decision-making, structural sources of inequality, and propelled his interest in health disparities research.  Over the years, he has had the privilege of working with hundreds of participants spanning the spectrums of race, ethnicity, class, age, sexual orientation, and HIV diagnosis status.  As he listens to his participants put their lives into words, Erik hears true testaments of resiliency and strength, as well as, countless stories of trauma, loss, discrimination, disempowerment, and unequal access to healthcare, employment, and education. These health disparities that fall along racial and ethnic lines have been impossible to ignore. It is this work that has fostered Erik’s desire to dedicate his life’s work to conducting health disparities research that promotes equality, empowerment, social justice, and equal opportunity while reducing health disparities among members of marginalized communities. This research has underscored his commitment to unmasking the integral role of socially produced ills such as stigma, discrimination, and lack of access to resources in the development and exacerbation of mental health problems, substance use, and HIV/STI disparities.

Erik recently completed a study assessing changes in risk perception and behavior, substance use, and medication adherence among young sexual minority men prescribed pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection.  His primary research interests are all within the area of health disparities, specifically in clinical interventions that focus on mental health, substance abuse, and the prevention of HIV/STI transmission among high-risk minority populations. Currently, Erik is leading several NIH-funded projects in the area of combination biobehavioral HIV prevention intervention design and evaluation, PrEP uptake and adherence among minority communities.

Erik enjoys traveling, hiking, eating great food, and exploring new neighborhoods in Los Angeles.  He is also an avid snowboarder and tries to hit the slopes whenever he can. He is active in psychological communities and spends most of his free time with his best friends in Los Angeles and New York City.

Each month, we’re featuring a member of our CHIPTS family and their work! To see past spotlights, check them out on the spotlights tag and make sure to check back to see who we feature next!

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