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Neal Carnes

Graduate Student    

Health & Life Course


Neal Carnes completed his MA in 2012 at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis with a concentration in medical sociology. His thesis inquired about the meanings gay and bisexual men ascribe to methamphetamine use during sex. His doctoral dissertation considers queer as lived, and is there social solidarity in queer people’s understandings and experiences that informs the potentiality of queer communities.

In addition to higher education, that benefits from a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and stints in sexuality studies, psychology and public health, Neal has worked professionally in HIV/AIDS and has volunteered in sexual minority rights for over two decades. Neal effectively kicked off his career in 1995 conducting HIV prevention and outreach in gay bars, bathhouses, and among male sex workers. Since, Neal has assisted with research administration at the University of California at San Francisco’s Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, conducted HIV counseling and testing among street-based sex workers, managed recruitment for the National Institutes of Health’s HIV and infectious disease vaccine program, served as Indiana’s HIV Medical Services Program Director as well as the HIV Incidence Surveillance Coordinator, and consults with the Georgia Department of Public Health on a strategy to improve health equity among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. This body of work helped inform the forthcoming publication Neal co-edited with his academic mentor, Dr. Eric Wright. The volume, titled “Understanding the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the United States – The Role of Syndemics in Shaping the Public’s Health” is due by the end of 2016 (Springer International). This publication is complemented by work on prescription drug abuse and prescription drug monitoring.

Neal is a natural-born teacher, and he has refined his talent over decades of practice and in a range of settings. The classroom has no boundaries from his pedagogical perspective. Everywhere you go and every person you encounter presents an opportunity to learn and to teach.