Undergrad Contributes to the City's HIV Prevention Efforts
September 23, 2021
Meghan Gupta is a junior majoring in Public Health with minors in Psychology, Health Service Administration, and Global Studies. A busy student, she was a Dornsife Global Development Scholar in 2020 and is currently an Orientation Leader, president of the Undergraduate Student Government Organization, and e-council member at Sharing Excess.
Gupta recently served as librarian at the Urban Sexuality Lab, previously hosted by Drexel University's Department of Sociology. She first became involved at the lab as a publicist managing the website and social media and helping to facilitate collaborations.
She enjoyed seeing her work at the lab have an impact. “We did a study of HIV risks and rates with COVID-19 social distancing mandates in effect and its impact among the MSM in Philadelphia,” she said. “These findings were shared with the city's Department of Health."
Through her involvement at the lab, Gupta and her colleagues were presented with the opportunity to support the Philadelphia Department of Public Health with HIV surveillance efforts. She is now a part-time HIV tester and interviewer of the men who have sex with men (MSM) population. She conducts in-depth, standardized surveys with study participants, collects specimens for rapid blood-based HIV testing, and documents participant information through an eligibility screener, consent form, questionnaire, and tracking form.
This experience has helped Gupta diversify her competences for her future career in public health. “This research has provided me with a plethora of skills to continue my work with the city's health department like notetaking, conducting interviews, and analyzing data with integrity,” she said.
For Gupta, public health is the right industry to be in. “There are countless opportunities in public health, and I believe that public health helps millions at a time, which I want to do,” she said.
In the future, this Cherry Hill, New Jersey native wants to build on her global health skills. One goal is to complete Dornsife's WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) certificate and use this training in developing regions in India and countries in Africa.
Gupta expects to graduate in the spring of 2023.
Learn about Bachelor of Science in Public Health at Dornsife