Rachel Kaplan, PhD

Rachel Kaplan web

Affiliated Faculty,

Based at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and as an affiliate faculty member of CREGS, Dr. Kaplan will spend the next three years implementing a study exploring the lived experiences of trans women in Beirut, Lebanon and adapting and pilot testing an HIV prevention intervention for use among this population. With a background in public health and social welfare, her interests lie in the intersections of gender, risk, conflict, and health. Her work has almost always been situated in the international context, from her Masters thesis that examined the needs and strengths of caregivers of children with disabilities in Russia to her focus on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for the last ten years. Dr. Kaplan holds a Masters degree in Public Health from The George Washington University, where Dr. Kaplan concentrated in maternal and child health. Before returning for further formal education for her PhD in Social Welfare, Dr. Kaplan worked at the University of California, San Francisco on international women’s health research. During her doctoral studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr. Kaplan immersed herself in coursework on qualitative methodology, HIV/AIDS prevention training, and theories in social science in preparation to design and implement a qualitative dissertation that explored the meaning of living with HIV/AIDS among women in Lebanon. During her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley on mental health and social conflict, Dr. Kaplan consulted on a study that explored the HIV risk behavior and social networks of men who have sex with men (MSM), male sex workers, and trans women in Lebanon. Her current work represents an important first step for leveraging funds via the National Institutes of Mental Health to address the risk and resilience of trans women in MENA.