Psychology and AIDS Leadership Award Recipients

The APA Ad Hoc Committee on Psychology and AIDS (COPA) presents the Psychology and AIDS Leadership Award to actively demonstrate COPA’s commitment to ensuring that issues pertaining to HIV/AIDS are kept at the forefront of psychological research, education, training and practice. The Psychology and AIDS Leadership Award recognizes distinguished leaders in the field who have made substantial contributions and show promise of an extensive, influential career. 

The award is given in two categories, emerging and distinguished leaders, in one or more areas of influence: service provision, research, teaching/mentoring and policy/advocacy.

2015 Psychology and AIDS Leadership Award Presentation

The presentation of the Psychology and AIDS Leadership Awards took place during the 2015 APA Convention in Toronto. Chair Matthew Skinta, PhD, of the Committee on Psychology and AIDS, presented the awards. 


Perry Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH
2015 Distinguished Leader Award

Perry Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH, receives the 2015 Psychology and AIDS Distinguished Leader Award as a Distinguished Leader for his tireless and intrepid efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and create a better world for those living with HIV/AIDS through his research, teaching, advocacy and service.

Perry Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPHHalkitis is one of the nation's leading experts on substance use and HIV behavioral research and an award winning author. Halkitis is professor of applied psychology, global public health and medicine, director of the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior & Prevention Studies (CHIBPS), and associate dean of academic affairs at the Global Institute of Public Health at New York University. Halkitis's program of research examines the intersection between the HIV epidemic, drug abuse and mental health burden, primarily in LGBT populations. CHIBPS, the research center he directs, conducts cutting-edge biobehavioral studies, serves as a training site for the next generation of scholars and partners with community agencies to conduct studies for and with the LGBT population. His research program has been funded by various private and public entities, including the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New York Community Trust and American Psychological Foundation, among others, at approximately $20 million. 

Halkitis's newest book, "The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience," is a 2014 Lambda Literary award nominee and recipient of the APA Distinguished Book Award in LGBT Psychology. His first book, "Methamphetamine Addiction: Biological Foundations, Psychological Factors, and Social Consequences," was published in 2009, Halkitis is also the lead editor of two volumes: "HIV + Sex: The Psychological and Interpersonal Dynamics of HIV-seropositive Gay and Bisexual Men's Relationships" (2005) and "Barebacking: Psychosocial and Public Health Perspectives" (2006). He is editor-in-chief of the journal Behavioral Medicine and serves on numerous other editorial boards. Author of over 160
peer-reviewed academic manuscripts, Halkitis is often cited in the press.

He is an elected member of the CDC and Health Services Research Administration Advisory Committee on HIV and STD Prevention. He served as a member of the Committee on Psychology and AIDS and as its chair. Halkitis is the recipient of numerous awards, including the APA Psychology and AIDS Emerging Leader (2002), and an elected a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and four divisions of APA. He holds degrees in psychology, education and public health.

Willo Pequegnat, PhD
2015 Distinguished Leader Award
COPA Special Award for Distinguished Contributions

Willo Pequegnat, PhDWillo Pequegnat, PhD, has made significant contributions to the field of social and behavioral science in the areas of research, mentoring, advocacy and service toward the prevention of HIV/AIDS. Pequegnat has served as assistant director of the National institutes of Health Office of International AIDS Prevention Research since 1997. In that time, she made requests for applications that have accelerated prevention and treatment research and has provided guidance on innovative research methodologies. Since the late 1980s, Pequegnat has mentored three generations of HIV/AIDS researchers, and has encouraged many psychologists to expand into international AIDS research. She has also co-edited several books intended to expand the research base of service organizations and graduate education. Pequegnat has also served as the chair of the National Institute of Mental Health Committee on Families and HIV/AIDS, and developed programming to increase communication between service providers and HIV investigators. Finally, through her work at the Whitman Walker Clinic, Pequegnat has remained clinically active, both as a therapist and a trainer of therapists. This citation is in recognition of the ways that Pequegnat continues to shape, mentor and guide research, prevention, education and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Adam W. Carrico, PhD
2015 Emerging Leader Award

Adam W. Carrico, PhD, receives the 2015 Psychology and AIDS Emerging Leader Award for his unswerving dedication to improving health outcomes among persons living with or at high risk for HIV through exceptional research, teaching, mentoring and service to the field.

Adam W. Carrico, PhDCarrico is assistant professor in the department of community health systems in the school of nursing at the University of California, San Francisco with strong ties to the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies.

He is pursuing a program of community-engaged, clinical research to to integrate behavioral and biomedical approaches to HIV prevention with marginalized, underserved populations. His prior research examined the efficacy of psychological interventions for HIV-positive persons and documented HIV-related health disparities among those who use stimulants (i.e., cocaine, crack and methamphetamine). Carrico is testing psychological interventions that are designed to optimize HIV/AIDS prevention efforts with stimulant-using men who have sex with men and stimulant-using female sex workers. The ultimate goal of this program of research will be to determine whether integrative interventions targeting affect regulation can boost the effectiveness of biomedical approaches to HIV/AIDS prevention with stimulant users. Learn more about the work of Carrico.

Carrico’s research interests include: substance abuse, emotion regulation, trauma, HIV-related health disparities and behavioral interventions to optimize HIV/AIDS prevention.