Dr. Hanne Zimmerman finalizes PhD research with successful defense
After years of dedication as a researcher, Dr. Hanne Zimmerman successfully defended her PhD titled “HIV prevention in the biomedical era: A psychosocial investigation among men who have sex with men” on Wednesday 9 February 2022.
During her PhD research (2017-2021), during which she was affiliated with the H-TEAM, Hanne Zimmermann investigated how men who have sex with men (MSM) make choices between the different HIV prevention strategies available today (including PrEP, condoms, N=N, HIV testing) and how they can be better supported by healthcare professionals.
Her conclusions show, among other things, that decision-making in sexual healthcare still too often focuses on the prevention of disease alone, ignoring important other considerations of sexual well-being; that there is a need for both MSM and professionals to be better informed about the pros and cons of all HIV prevention strategies and that the knowledge about the role of condoms in HIV prevention can be better applied by healthcare professionals in conversations with a client. The advice that follows from her conclusions state that the following is necessary: (1) better integration of new biomedical HIV prevention strategies into the current pallet of HIV prevention, (2) incorporation of future biomedical prevention options that are still in development such as long-acting PrEP, (3) addressing the prevention needs of groups that are not well reached with any of the current prevention efforts and (4) the need for a new HIV prevention narrative that can tackle HIV stigma while sustaining the communities’ motivation to end HIV together.
Hanne Zimmerman obtained her doctorate at the Faculty of Medicine under the supervision of prof. dr. M. Prins (AMC-UvA) and prof. dr. F. van Harreveld (University of Amsterdam). Her co-promotor was dr. E. Davidovich (GGD Amsterdam). The other members of the Doctorate Committee were prof. dr. M. van der Valk (AMC-UvA), prof. dr. P.T. Nieuwkerk (AMC-UvA), dr. S. de Wit (University of Amsterdam), dr. ir. B.H.B. van Benthem (RIVM), prof. dr. J.B.F. de Wit (Utrecht University), prof. dr. N.K. de Vries (University of Maastricht) and prof. dr. S.E. Geerlings (AMC-UvA).