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Graduate Student Receives Prestigious Internship to Assist in Mitigating Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic

Master of Health Science student Elmira Bakhshinyan has been accepted as the HIV/AIDS Community Care and Prevention Intern with the prestigious Global Health Fellows Program II, a project of the Public Health Institute. She will spend the summer in Washington D.C. with the Technical Leadership and Research Division in the Bureau for Global Health’s Office of HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the program is to improve the effectiveness of USAID health programs by developing and increasing the capacity of health professionals with tailored development opportunities.

Elmira Bakhshinyan and Sarah Toevs
Elmira Bakhshinyan with mentor Dr. Sarah Toevs

Bakhshinyan is an Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellow and has been involved with HIV/AIDS response programs in Armenia since 2004, including directing a “Providing Care and Support to People Living with HIV” project. Boise has benefited from Bakhshinyan’s passion for HIV/AIDS response programs. When not studying for her masters with an emphasis in health promotion, she volunteers for Allies Linked for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Sarah Toevs, director for the Center for the Study of Aging and chair of the Department of Community and Environmental Health, comments that when Bakhshinyan began at Boise State, she “hit the ground running. Within the first week of her arrival she made contact with the community-based HIV/AIDS coalition and she’s been networking and producing ever since. Elmira is focused, action oriented, and a pleasure to be around.”

Bakhshinyan will work as a research analyst/assistant on the Community Care and Prevention with Positives project and will conduct a literature review of various sources focusing on existing prevention, care and support interventions. Bakhshinyan hopes that the new skills and experience that she gains this summer will help her trigger policy enhancements in Armenia related to community care and prevention. After graduating from Boise State, Bakhshinyan plans to return to Armenia to further the HIV/AIDS response programs in Armenia and in the Eastern European and Central Asian regions, ultimately allowing her to contribute to the mitigation of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.