Alicia Morehead-Gee, MD
MD – UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
Residency – Internal Medicine, UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA
Biography: Dr. Alicia Morehead-Gee, internal medicine physician, is interested in ending health disparities in HIV prevention and treatment. As a Scholar, Dr. Morehead-Gee conducted research projects examining HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) awareness and use among at-risk populations to address issues impacting PrEP initiation and to improve future prevention efforts within public health systems.
Dr. Morehead-Gee’s main research and community partner project was “Hearing Black women’s viewpoints on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and application-based PrEP healthcare.” Her mentors on the project include Keosha Partlow PhD (CDU), Steve Shoptaw PhD (UCLA), Dilara Uskup PhD (UCLA), Gail Wyatt PhD (UCLA), and Nina Harawa PhD (CDU/UCLA). This project proposes telehealth as a tool to increase PrEP access by integrating services within nonclinical organizations, including social service agencies (i.e. shelters and nutrition assistance programs) and consumer agencies (i.e. stores and beauty salons). This is the first study to examine Black women’s viewpoints regarding the use of telehealth-delivered PrEP within nonclinical settings. Dr. Morehead-Gee conducted 5 focus groups with HIV-negative Black women aged 18 to 39 who lived in areas of high HIV prevalence (2 groups of women in Central Los Angeles, 3 groups of women in South Los Angeles) and had engaged in condomless sex in the past 12 months. Discussions were used to identify trusted agencies, explore PrEP awareness and acceptability, and examine acceptability toward the use of nonclinical agencies to facilitate PrEP-related telehealth. Data analysis was guided by the stepwise process of thematic analysis and by techniques from grounded theory. The themes found in this study provide new information regarding Black women’s viewpoints toward PrEP-related health services and the use of telehealth to deliver such services in community settings, thus informing future interventions within this population.
Dr. Morehead Gee also worked on a secondary project of semi-structured interviews of beauticians to gain insight into naturally occurring conversations between cosmetologists/estheticians and customers and to assess the aspects of a salon environment that might be useful in the development of a salon-based sexual health promotion intervention. She examined the reported experiences of self-efficacy for sexual discussion, client conversations, HIV knowledge, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) awareness in a sample of Black cosmetologists and estheticians serving Black women in Los Angeles County.
During her fellowship, Dr. Morehead-Gee published “Missed Visits Associated With Future Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Discontinuation Among PrEP Users in a Municipal Primary Care Health Network” in Open Forum Infectious Diseases and “Brief Report: A Panel Management and Patient Navigation Intervention Is Associated With Earlier PrEP Initiation in a Safety-Net Primary Care Health System” in JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. She also presented her poster “Within heterosexual HIV-serodiscordant couples, awareness of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among HIV-positive partners predicts PrEP awareness among HIV-negative partners” at the national meeting of the Society of General Internal Medicine in 2019. She performed an oral presentation titled “Girl Talk’ for PrEP: Envisioning Black beauty salons as a setting for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) interventions” at the UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services (CHIPTS) HIV Next Generation Conference in January 2020.
Dr. Morehead-Gee is the Medical Director of HIV Prevention at the AltaMed Health Equity Institute, where she leads efforts to expand PrEP healthcare into primary care settings.