Nadia Abdala, PhD, DVM

  • Research Scientist in Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases)
Research interests
Sexually Transmitted Diseases; Global Health; HIV Infections; Intervention Studies; Women's Health; Reproductive Health Services; Virus Inactivation
Research summary

Dr. Abdala’s research focus lies in the field of HIV prevention. Her past research and professional experience focused on vaccine production and diagnostics of infectious diseases including HIV infection. Dr. Abdala has used her expertise to answer epidemiological questions regarding HIV transmission through injection drug use. She has investigated how long HIV remains viable inside syringes, how cooking or heating drugs prior to injection might affect HIV transmission and has assessed the effectiveness of bleach and other disinfectants in reducing HIV transmission risks via contaminated syringes. Her participation in international research projects began with investigations of infectious HIV in home made illicit drugs commonly prepared in Russia.

Most recently the focus of her research has been on the investigation of HIV transmission via sexual route. Dr Abdala has conducted several studies to investigate risk behaviors that facilitate the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including HIV among populations at risk for HIV. She culturally adapted a STD/HIV risk reduction intervention for use in Russia and conducted a randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of a behavior intervention to reduce alcohol related HIV sexual risk behaviors among STD clinic patients in St Petersburg, Russia.

Specialized Terms: Virus inactivation studies; HIV prevention research; Alcohol related HIV risk behaviors; HIV risk reduction interventions.

  • PhD, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, Munich, 1993
  • DVM, Universidade Federal de Uberlandia, 1984
  • Zhan W, Krasnoselskikh TV, Shaboltas AV, Skochilov RV, Abdala N. History of childhood abuse, sensation seeking, and intimate partner violence under/not under the influence of a substance: a cross-sectional study in Russia. PLOSONE (in press).
  • Abdala N, Hansen NB, Toussova OV, Krasnoselskikh TV, Kozlov AP, Heimer R. Age at First Alcoholic Drink as Predictor of Current HIV Sexual Risk Behaviors Among a Sample of Injection Drug Users (IDUs) and Non-IDUs who are Sexual Partners of IDUs, in St. Pet
  • Zhan, W., Hansen, N., Shaboltas, A., Skochilov, R., Kozlov, A.P., Krasnoselskikh, Abdala, N.. "Violence perpetration and victimization, and HIV risk behaviors in St Petersburg, Russia." Journal of Traumatic Stress. (2012), 25: 1-8.
  • Grau, L.E., Krasnoselskikh, T.V., Shaboltas, A., Skochilov, R., Kozlov, A.P., Abdala, N.. "Cultural Adaptation of an Intervention to Reduce Sexual Behaviors among Patients Attending a STI Clinic in St. Petersburg, Russia." Prevention Science (in press).
  • Abdala, N., Toussova, O.V., Hansen, N., Krasnoselskikh, T.V., Verevochkin, Sergei, Kozlov, A.P., Heimer, R.. "Correlates of Unprotected Sex Among Females Who Inject Drugs or Who Have Sexual Partners Who Inject Drugs in St Petersburg, Russia." J of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care (in press).
  • Abdala, N., Zhan, W., Shaboltas, A., Skochilov, R., Kozlov, A.P., Krasnoselskikh, T.V.. "Efficacy of a Brief HIV Prevention Counseling Intervention among STI Clinic Patients in Russia: A Randomized Controlled Trial." AIDS and Behavior (in press).
International activities
  • Alcohol and HIV Risk Reduction in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
    Saint Petersburg, Russia (2007-Present)
    A study to culturally adapt and test the potential efficacy of an Alcohol and HIV risk reduction intervention for STD clinic patients in Russia.

  • Integrating Sex and Drug Related HIV Risk
    Russia (2006-2011)
    Investigating HIV Risk and Transmission Related to Sex and Drugs

  • HIV Bridge Population in STI Clinics, Russia
    Russia (2005-2011)
    This study aimed at identifying HIV Bridge Populations and assessing HIV prevention needs of men and women attending STI Clinics in St. Petersburg, Russia.

  • HIV Transmission in Russia Through Liquid Drug Injection
    Russia (2003-2006)
    This study was conducted in 11 Russian cities in all seven regions of the country. The study examines the use of liquid drug injections and its role in the spread of HIV in Russia. The project has been completed.

  • Prevalence of Sexually Transmittd Diseases (STDs) among IDUs in St. Petersburg, Russia
    Russia (2003-2008)
    This study investigates the prevalence of STDs and risk factors of STDs among a sample of IDUs seeking medical care at the Biomedical Center in St. Petersburg, Russia.

  • HIV Prevention in Russia
    Russia (2002-2008)
    HIV Prevention Trial for At-Risk Young people in Russia

  • Risk Assessment of STDs among Intravenous Drug Users (IDUs) in Russia
    Russia (2001-2003)
    This study estimated the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted diseases (STD) within a sample of injection drug users (IDUs) seeking services at a Needle Exchange Program in St. Petersburg, Russia.

  • Syringe Simulation Study
    United States (1998-2003)
    This study determined the viability, longevity, and susceptibility to disinfection of infectious HIV recovered from syringes and drug injection paraphernalia.