Sonja Mackenzie, DrPH, MSc

Dr. Sonja Mackenzie, DrPH, MSc, served as an adjunct Assistant Professor at the Health Equity Institute. As of 8/14, she has moved her research and work to Santa Clara University, where she is an Assistant Professor in the Public Health program. Dr. Mackenzie's work continues to focus on the social and structural dimensions of gender, sexuality and HIV/AIDS. Dr. Mackenzie brings an intersectional lens to illuminate the structural dimensions of health and illness (including racism, gender inequalities, homophobia, mass incarceration, and poverty), specifically in the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic. Dr. Mackenzie's research lies at the nexus of sociology, sexuality studies, and public health and aims to build pragmatic and theoretical responses to the historical, persistent, and institutionally-driven inequities in health experienced by sexual and racial/ethnic minority communities in the United States.

Dr. Mackenzie's book, Structural Intimacies, Sexual Stories in the Black AIDS Epidemic, was published in June 2013. To purchase the book, visit Rutgers University Press and stay up-to-date on the latest new and events on the book's Facebook page

Dr. Mackenzie is currently PI on a five-year NIMH research project investigating the cultural and relationship context of HIV among African American bisexual men and their female partners. This mixed methods project draws on innovative dyadic approaches to HIV prevention to understand gender and relationships, while examining the structural, cultural and geospatial contexts of HIV. At HEI, Dr. Mackenzie completed her two-year California HIV/AIDS Research Program IDEA Award ethnographic research project, entitled The MASAI Project (Men Acting with Strength and Initiative), which conducted qualitative interviews with sixty bisexually active African American men in Oakland and San Francisco. Findings from that study focus on critical gender analyses of masculinities, sexual identities, and HIV risk; as well as examination of the socio-spatial context of mass incarceration for sexual identities and practices. With a long-standing focus on sexuality and health among youth, Dr. Mackenzie has conducted several qualitative research studies with LGBT youth on perceptions of the relationship between queer youth health and discrimination.

Dr. Mackenzie's work is informed by her longstanding activism, policy and community work with local communities affected by HIV/AIDS in the San Francisco Bay Area, including her former work as Co-President of the Board of Directors of the Oakland-based organization Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases (WORLD), with the Women's AIDS Network, the San Francisco Needle Exchange (a site by and for youth) and the LYRIC Queer Youth Organizing Project. Dr. Mackenzie completed her Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Equity and Sexuality at the Health Equity Institute in 2010. She received her Doctorate in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, and her MS in Health and Social Behavior from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2000. She has taught in Sexuality Studies at SF State and at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.


Selected Publications

Mackenzie S, Pearson C, Frye V, Gómez CA, Latka MH, Purcell DW, Knowlton AR, Metsch LR, Tobin KE, Valverde EE, Knight KR. Agents of Change: Peer Mentoring as HIV Prevention among HIV-Positive Injection Drug Users. Substance Use and Misuse. 2012 47(5): 522-534.

Mackenzie S. Dissecting the Social Body: Social Inequality through AIDS Counter Narratives. Public Understanding of Science. 2011 20(4): 491-505.   

Frye V, Fortin P, Mackenzie S, Edwards L, Mitchell S, Valverde E, Garfein R, Metsch L, Latka M. Managing identity impacts associated with disclosure of HIV status: A qualitative investigation. AIDS Care. 2009 Aug;21(8):1071-8.

Mizuno Y, Purcell DP, Mackenzie S, Tobin K, Wunch T, Arnsten JH, Metsch LR. Acceptability of A-CASI by HIV-positive IDUs in a multisite, randomized, controlled trial of behavioral intervention (INSPIRE). J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2007 Nov; 46(S2): S48-S54.

Mitchell SG, Edwards LV, Mackenzie S, Knowlton A, Valverde E, Arnsten JH, Santibanez S, Latka MH, Mizuno Y. Participants' descriptions of social support within a multisite intervention for HIV-seropositive injection drug users (INSPIRE). J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2007 Nov; 46(S2): S55-S63.

Neuhauser L, Richardson D, Mackenzie S, Minkler M. Advancing transdisciplinary and translational research practice: Issues and models of doctoral education in public health. Journal of Research Practice 2007 Nov; 3(2): Article M19.

Latka MH, Metsch LR, Mizuno Y, Tobin K, Mackenzie S, Arnsten JH, Gourevitch MN. Unprotected sex among HIV-positive injection drug using women and their serodiscordant male partners: Role of personal and partner influences. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2006 Jun;42(2):222-8.

Mackenzie S. 2000. Scientific silence: AIDS and African-Americans in the medical literature. American Journal of Public Health. 90(7): 1145-1146