Current Research

Select Publications

Completed Projects

Current Research Projects

I am currently the Principal Investigator of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) K01 grant awarded from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The title of the grant is “Intersectional Stigma Experiences, Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), and Other Service Use Among People Who Inject Drugs.”

I also work on the Rural Opioid Initiative Illinois site. I have a deep commitment to working with people who use drugs living in rural communities, as their experiences and resources differ greatly from people living in urban areas.

Select Publications

Walters, Suzan M., David C. Perlman, Honoria Guarino, Pedro Mateu-Gelabert, and David Frank. “Lessons from the First Wave of COVID-19 for Improved Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) Treatment: Benefits of Easier Access, Extended Take Homes, and New Delivery Modalities.” Substance Use and Misuse (2022): 1-10

Friedman, Samuel R., Leslie D. Williams, Ashly E. Jordan, Suzan M. Walters, David C. Perlman, Pedro Mateu-Gelabert, Georgious K. Nikolopoulos, Maria R. Khan, Emanuel Peprah, and Jerel M. Ezell. “Towards a theory of underpinnings and vulnerabilities of structural racism: Looking upstream from disease inequities among people who inject drugs.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19. no. 12 (2022): 7453.

Walters, Suzan M., Rebecca Bolinski, Ellen Amirol, Stacy Grundy, Scott Fletcher, John Schneider, Samuel R. Friedman, Lawrence J. Oullette, Danielle C. Ompad, Wiley Jenkins, and Mai T. Pho. “Structural and community changes during COVID-19 and their effects on overdose precursors among rural people who use drugs: a mixed-methods analysis.” Addiction Science and Clinical Practice (2022), 17(1), 1-15

  • Society for the Study of Social Problems, Community Research and Development Division               2022 Community Paper Award

Bolinski, Rebecca, Suzan M. Walters, Eliabeth Salisbury-Afshar, Lawrence J. Oullette, Wiley D. Jenkins, Ellen Amirol, Brent Van Ham, Scott Fletcher, Christian Johnsons, John A. Schnieder, Danielle C. Ompad, and Mai T. Pho. “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on drug use behaviors, fentanyl exposure, and harm reduction service support among people who use drugs in rural settings.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, no. 4 (2022): 2230.

Walters, Suzan M., David Frank, Brent Van Ham, Jessica Jaiswal, Brandon Muncan, Valerie Earnshaw, John Schneider, Samuel Friedman, Danielle C. Ompad.  “PrEP Care Continuum Engagement Among Persons Who Inject Drugs: Rural and Urban Differences in Stigma and Social Infrastructure.” AIDS and Behavior (2021): 1-13.

  • American Sociological Association, Drugs and Society Section 2022 Distinguished Scholarly Article Award

Walters, Suzan M., Joey Platt, Amarachi R. Anakaraonye, Sarit A. Golub, Chinazo O. Cunningham, Brianna L. Norton, Jae M. Sevelius, and Oni J. Blackstock.  “Considerations for the Design of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Interventions for Women: Lessons Learned from the Implementation of a Novel PrEP intervention.” AIDS and Behavior (2021): 1-13.

Walters, Suzan M., Alex Kral, Shona Lamb, Jesse L. Goldshear, Lynn Wenger, Ricky N. Bluthenthal. “Correlates of Transactional Sex and Violent Victimization Among Men Who Inject Drugs in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.” Journal of Urban Health (2021): 70-82.

Walters, Suzan M., David W. Seal, Thomas J. Stopka, Megan E. Murphy, and Wiley D. Jenkins. “COVID-19 and People Who Use Drugs – A Commentary.” Health Behavior Policy Review (2020): 489-497.

Walters, Suzan M., Alex Kral, Kelsey A. Simpson, Lynn Wenger, and Ricky N. Bluthenthal. “HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Prevention Awareness, Willingness and Perceived Barriers Among People Who Inject Drugs (PWID) in Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA, 2016-2018.” Substance Use and Misuse (2020):1-11.

Walters, Suzan M., Bethany Coston, Alan Neaigus, Alexis V. Rivera, Lila Starbuck, Valentina Ramirez, Kathleen H. Reilly, and Sarah L. Braunstein. “The Role of Syringe Exchange Programs and Sexual Identity in Awareness of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Among Men Who Inject Drugs.”  International Journal of Drug Policy 77 (2020): 102671

Walters, Suzan M., Amy Braksmajer, Bethany Coston, Irene Yoon, Christian Grov, Martin J. Downing Jr., Richard Teran, Sabina Hirshfield. “A Syndemic Model of Exchange Sex among HIV-Positive Men Who Have Sex With Men.” Archives of Sexual Behavior (2020):1-4.

For more publications check out my Google Scholar page here.

Completed Projects

I have completed two pilot projects that explore the feasibility of PrEP for persons who inject drugs.

The first project is titled “Feasibility of PrEP for Persons Who Inject Drugs.” Principal Investigator: Walters; funded by the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (grant number: P30DA011041). Click here to see the abstract.

The second project is titled “Feasibility of PrEP for Persons Who Inject Amphetamines in New York City and Rural Illinois .” Principal Investigator: Dr. Danielle Ompad; Co-Investigator: Walters; funded by the NYU Clinical and Translational Science Institute (grant number: NIH/NCATS 1UL1 TR001445 ). Click here to see the abstract.