Drexel University, United States
Evidence-based interventions to promote sexual health in youth: considerations, challenges and future research

Loretta Sweet Jemmott, PhD, an expert in health promotion research, is one of the nation's foremost researchers in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention, having the most consistent track record of evidenced-based HIV risk-reduction interventions. Dr. Jemmott is currently Vice President for Health and Health Equity at Drexel University (Philadelphia, United States), and Professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions. She is retiring from a long and successful tenure at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. She has led the nation in understanding the psychological determinants for reducing risk-related behaviors, achieving political changes derived from the results of her research. The team she and her husband , John B. Jemmott, III, PhD, lead at Penn have attracted more than $100 million in NIH funding over the past two decades to design and test interventions that reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases among diverse populations (http://jemmottinnovations.com/). Her studies have proved successful in reducing risk-associated behaviors and the incidence of infection. She has partnered with community-based organizations, including churches, clinics, barbershops, housing developments, and schools, and transformed her NIH funded evidenced- based research outcomes for use in real world settings. To date, eight of her evidenced-based interventions have been designated by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Adolescent Health for national and international dissemination and are used in 50 states across the nation and eight countries across the globe. Dr. Jemmott has received numerous prestigious awards for her significant contribution to the profession, to the field of HIV/STD and pregnancy prevention research, and to the community.  Four such honors include, the U.S. Congressional Merit Award, Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society’s Episteme Award and Hall of Fame Award, the American Academy of Nursing, and election to membership in the Institute of Medicine.