Free Webinar: Hard to Reach or Hardly Reached?: Using Community-Based Research Strategies to Improve HIV Prevention Outcomes among Black & Latinx Women

This webinar is part of the Culturally Responsive Research Webinar Series presented by NVivo and SAGE Publications.

Traditionally, research defines “hard-to-reach” populations as difficult for researchers to access and recruit for studies. However, that puts the onus on the communities rather than the researchers. Researchers must be more engaged with the communities of interest rather than just dismissing them as “hard-to-reach.” Additionally, language regarding sexual health often implies, sometimes implicitly, victim blaming. Sexual health and HIV prevention frequently point to protecting oneself from unfaithful partners or promoting condom use in monogamous relationships. These strategies are often unsuccessful. Researchers need to reframe how they approach conducting research among “hard-to-reach” populations and consider the underlying issues of sexual health. Future research must consider how to successfully recruit participants that are frequently considered “hard-to-reach.” In addition, we must understand and consider the true risks to sexual health rather than placing blame in the individuals’ behaviors or their partners’. Communities are underserved due to systemic factors that research often perpetuates. Future studies should consider appropriate methods to recruit communities otherwise disregarded from research and ensure the language and methods do not perpetuate victim blaming.


Dr. Liesl Nydegger is an Assistant Professor in Health Behavior and Health Education and Director of the Gender Health Equity Lab at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Nydegger earned her Ph.D. in Health Promotion Sciences with a concentration in Global Health, and her Master's in Public Health Claremont Graduate University, School of Community and Global Health. In 2015, Dr. Nydegger was awarded a 2-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Center for AIDS Intervention Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She was awarded a Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowship in 2012-2013 that took place in Durban, South Africa. Dr. Nydegger's research interests focus on sexual health equity among vulnerable and underserved populations.

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