LaRon Nelson


Affiliate Scientist


Dr. LaRon Nelson is a public health nurse and family nurse practitioner. He is a Scientist in MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital and the inaugural holder of the OHTN Research Chair in HIV Program Science with African, Caribbean and Black Communities. Dr. Nelson’s domestic and international research investigates strategies to reduce race and sexuality-based disparities in HIV outcomes. He is recognized as the world’s leading authority on the application of self-determination theory for HIV prevention and care. He is also trailblazing the use of a rapid psychological trauma recovery intervention to reduce the negative impacts of stigma and trauma on HIV outcomes in African and African diaspora communities.

Dr. Nelson’s work has influenced US foreign health policy on the decision to MSM in its key population targets for prevention services in West Africa. He has been invited to the White House on numerous occasions to provide consultation on setting research priorities for addressing stigma to improve HIV prevention and care outcomes in the US and sub-Saharan Africa. He was named one of Canada’s Rising Stars in Global Health for his groundbreaking research in Ghana and was honoured by the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care with the Excellence in HIV Prevention Award. Dr. Nelson is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. His work has been featured in the Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership as well Canadian media outlets such as Poz Magazine, Outwards Magazine, Toronto Star newspaper, and Healthy Debate.

Recent Publications

  1. Ndenkeh, JJN, Nelson, LE, Bogning, A, Yumo, H, Bediang, G, Njih, E et al.. The Feasibility and Acceptability of Using Mobile Applications for HIV Testing, Prevention, and Treatment Among Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Cameroon: A Cross-Sectional Study. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2024; :. doi: 10.1097/JNC.0000000000000469. PubMed PMID:38569188 .
  2. Abu-Ba'are, GR, Aidoo-Frimpong, G, Amu-Adu, P, Zigah, EY, Stockton, M, Amuah, S et al.. "One pastor advised him to stop taking HIV medication": Promoters and barriers to HIV care among gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men living with HIV in Ghana. Res Sq. 2024; :. doi: 10.21203/ PubMed PMID:38562846 PubMed Central PMC10984093.
  3. Dada, D, Abu-Ba'are, GR, Turner, D, Mashoud, IW, Owusu-Dampare, F, Apreku, A et al.. Scoping review of HIV-related intersectional stigma among sexual and gender minorities in sub-Saharan Africa. BMJ Open. 2024;14 (2):e078794. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-078794. PubMed PMID:38346887 PubMed Central PMC10862343.
  4. Abu-Ba'are, GR, Aidoo-Frimpong, G, Stockton, M, Zigah, EY, Amuah, S, Amu-Adu, P et al.. "I told myself, be bold and go and test": Motivators and barriers to HIV testing among gay, bisexual, and other cis-gender men who have sex with men in Ghana ‒ West Africa. PLOS Glob Public Health. 2024;4 (1):e0002231. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgph.0002231. PubMed PMID:38206889 PubMed Central PMC10783711.
  5. Aidoo-Frimpong, G, Abu-Ba'are, GR, Apreku, A, Amoh-Otu, RP, Zigah, E, Amu-Adu, P et al.. "We have our reasons": Exploring the acceptability of pre-exposure prophylaxis among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in Ghana. medRxiv. 2023; :. doi: 10.1101/2023.12.05.23299515. PubMed PMID:38105990 PubMed Central PMC10723517.
  6. Shamrock, OW, Abu-Ba'are, GR, Zigah, EY, Apreku, A, Agbemedu, GRK, Boyd, DT et al.. Family rejection of non-hetero sexuality-Sexual orientation and behavior anonymity among sexual minority men in slum communities-BSGH 001. PLOS Glob Public Health. 2023;3 (12):e0001659. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgph.0001659. PubMed PMID:38039264 PubMed Central PMC10691700.
  7. Abu-Ba'are, GR, Shamrock, OW, Apreku, A, Agbemedu, GRK, Zigah, EY, Ezechi, OC et al.. Awareness and Willingness to use Condoms and Preexposure Prophylaxis among Gay, Bisexual, and Other Cisgendered Men who Have sex with men in Slum Communities in Ghana. BSGH-004. J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care. 2023;22 :23259582231209649. doi: 10.1177/23259582231209649. PubMed PMID:37933162 PubMed Central PMC10631318.
  8. Birnbaum, J, Roberson, M, Bailey, MM, Smith, MDR, Turner, D, Qian, HZ et al.. Leveraging family-based assets for Black men who have sex with men in House Ball Communities: Protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial. PLoS One. 2023;18 (9):e0289681. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0289681. PubMed PMID:37683036 PubMed Central PMC10490903.
  9. Zigah, EY, Abu-Ba'are, GR, Shamrock, OW, Dakpui, HD, Apreku, A, Boyd, DT et al.. "For my safety and wellbeing, I always travel to seek health care in a distant facility"-the role of place and stigma in HIV testing decisions among GBMSM - BSGH 002. Health Place. 2023;83 :103076. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2023.103076. PubMed PMID:37423093 .
  10. Reeves, JM, Zigah, EY, Shamrock, OW, Aidoo-Frimpong, G, Dada, D, Batten, J et al.. Investigating the impact of stigma, accessibility and confidentiality on STI/STD/HIV self-testing among college students in the USA: protocol for a scoping review. BMJ Open. 2023;13 (2):e069574. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-069574. PubMed PMID:36792328 PubMed Central PMC9933744.
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of Rochester