Mx. Jack Andrzewski (pronouns: they/them/theirs) is a third-year student in the Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) in the Public Health, Health Behavior Track at San Diego State University (SDSU) and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Jack completed their undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley in Statistics and Conservation and Resource Studies, followed by their Master of Public Health in Health Education and Health Behavior at the University of Michigan. After finishing their Master’s, they received a three-year ORISE Fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, specifically within the Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.
Jack’s research primarily focuses on transgender health, including HIV, substance use, mental health, and eating disorders. They look at preventive efforts geared towards this population and how access to quality gender-affirming health services help to promote the health and wellbeing of transgender folks. Access to gender-affirming health services is associated with several health outcomes, including decreases in suicidality, the experience of depression or anxiety, and increases in disease self-management.
Since Jack started their Doctoral Program, they have a number of research papers under review, one of them looking at the association between gender and sexuality alliance advisors’ self-efficacy to discuss issues pertaining to transgender students and transgender student depression. As the advisor’s self-efficacy increased, the transgender student’s depressive symptoms decreased. Jack has been working on another project looking at the intersection of gender identity and race and ethnicity, utilizing the California Healthy Kids Survey Data, an extensive statewide survey of health behaviors among schoolchildren. Jack also used a cross-sectional analysis looking at the relationship between access to medical gender affirmation services and awareness and use of specific HIV and STI prevention services among transgender adolescents and young adults. Those who accessed medical gender affirmation services had greater odds of reporting lifetime STI testing and awareness of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV.
Jack has submitted a grant to the National Institutes of Health for a Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31) to support their dissertation research. This project will analyze data from a cohort of about 1200 transender women not living with HIV at baseline and followed for 24 months. This study will investigate longitudinal relationships between social determinants of health, PrEP use, substance use behaviors that may increase the risk of HIV, and the co-occurence of problematic substance use and psychological distress.