David Goodman-Meza, MD, MAS, is a Core Affiliate in the Combination Prevention Core at CHIPTS and a Clinical Instructor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. David completed his medical degree at Universidad Autonoma de Baja California in Tijuana, Mexico before receiving his Master’s in clinical research at UC San Diego where he also participated in a post-doctoral training program in global health. He moved to New York to complete his internal medicine residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Jacobi Medical Center and most recently, he completed his fellowship in infectious diseases at UCLA.

David’s research interest is in the relationship between substance use disorders and infectious diseases. He became interested in this after completing medical school in Tijuana as he was one of the early physicians working at a binational student run free clinic in Tijuana’s Zona Norte area. Since this area harbors a quasi-legal red-light district, it has become the epicenter of Tijuana’s HIV epidemic.  As part of his clinical practice, David saw the intersection of populations at risk for HIV, including men who have sex with men, female sex workers, transgender women, deportees, and people who inject drugs, and how their lives were complicated by prominent heroin and methamphetamine use.  This led him to his post-doctoral work, where he initiated a study to evaluate HIV prevalence and correlates in men who have sex with men in Tijuana.  His key finding was that HIV was highly associated with methamphetamine among this population.  When he later moved to New York, he made the same observation among those who used heroin and opioid.

Now, at UCLA, David has a multifaceted research agenda under the mentorship and support of our CHIPTS faculty members Raphael Landovitz and Steve Shoptaw. David has evaluated pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) adherence in men who have sex with men who use stimulants.  He found that these men that use stimulants can adhere to PrEP just as well as those who do not use stimulants, contradicting prevailing beliefs. Recently, his work on the possibility of a prescription opioid epidemic in Mexico was highlighted in the American Journal of Public Health. Currently, David has proposed a NIDA K08 award looking at the impact of opioid agonist therapy on outcomes in patients who inject heroin admitted to Veterans Administration Hospitals with blood stream infections. He plans on using algorithms from data science -natural language processing and machine learning – for this evaluation.

David recently got married to his beautiful and loving partner, Katia, in Australia in March 2019. In his spare time, he enjoys surfing and cycling to stay in shape.  He also does lino carving and print making as artistic hobbies. On weekends, he travels to Tijuana to spend time with his family.

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