The HVTN/CoVPN’s Social Behavioral Science (SBS) and Community Engagement Unit (CEU) is excited to welcome its newest member, Matshidiso “Tshidi” Malefo, who started on the 2nd of Aug 2021 and will be working closely with Kagisho Baepanye as an HVTN/CoVPN Community Engagement Project Manager based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Tshidi started to work at Setshaba Research Centre in Pretoria as a research interviewer for HIV clinical trials and social behavioral studies. Later she moved on to work for the Aurum Institute in Rustenburg as a research assistant, and then moved on to become the Social Science Coordinator/Sub-Investigator, coordinating all clinical and behavioral studies and Community Engagement. While working for Aurum, she was selected to work in a team of Social Behavior Researchers with the International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) which was developed to improve Social Behavior Researchers in Africa in 2015-2016. In 2016 she joined Sefako Makgatho Health Science University (SMU) as a Project Manager supporting 30 sites. Tshidi continued at SMU to become a part-time lecturer on the faculty of Public Health, teaching research methodology, biostatistics, and epidemiology. Tshidi graduated from the University of North West where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science, and continued her education with an honors degree in HIV and Social Behavior Studies from the University of South Africa . In 2014 she graduated with a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Limpopo (MEDUNSA Campus). She is currently working toward a PhD in Public Health at Sefako Makgatho Health Science University, collaborating with Antwerp University in Belgium. Tshidi brings 14 years of experience working in community engagement, social science, and health research. She looks forward to joining the HVTN/CoVPN Core family and working to make a difference in the lives of those most impacted by HIV and COVID-19.
Rafael is the latest addition to the HVTN/CoVPN Social Behavioral Science and Community Engagement Unit (SBS-CEU). While Rafael was born in Miami, Florida to Cuban and Nicaraguan parents, he grew up in San Francisco, California. For the past 7 years, Rafael has worked at the clinical research site, Bridge HIV, within the San Francisco Department of Public Health. He held several positions at Bridge HIV such as Research Scholar, Clinical Studies Recruiter, Research Associate, and Community Programs Manager. In addition, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Rafael also worked as the Community Mobilization and Navigation Coordinator for Unidos en Salud, a community-academic-public health partnership in San Francisco, which offers COVID-19 vaccination, rapid tests, and response services for the Latinx community in the Mission District of San Francisco. In 2019, Rafael was selected as one of the Minority Leadership Fellows by the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD). In 2021, the HVTN recognized his efforts with the Network Service Award.
As the Senior Community Engagement Project Manager, he is excited to bring his passion and creativity to the HVTN/CoVPN at Fred Hutch and hopes to continue emphasizing the need for health equity.
The HVTN wishes to reintroduce Gail Broder after receiving a well-deserved promotion to her new role of Associate Director, Social Behavioral Science & Community Engagement Unit!
Gail Broder was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, receiving her Bachelors Degree in Music Therapy at Eastern Michigan University. She subsequently moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she worked in long-term care settings as a music therapist specializing in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. In the 1990’s, Gail began losing friends and a mentor to AIDS, and she made the decision to redirect her career to HIV prevention in order to tackle the epidemic proactively. She received her Master’s Degree in Health Science with emphasis in Health Education in 1999 from Washington University in St. Louis. Her thesis work formed the basis for a curriculum in HIV prevention education. Following graduate school, one of Gail’s volunteer affiliations was with the Community Advisory Board (CAB) of the HIV Vaccine Trials Unit which was then located at St. Louis University. After serving for 2. years as a CAB member, Gail moved to Seattle in 2003 to join the staff of the HVTN’s Community Engagement Unit.
Away from the office, Gail has maintained a semi-professional music career. She sang with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Chorus for two seasons, then with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Chorus for 16 seasons, including four performances in New York’s Carnegie Hall and three CD recordings. In Seattle, she performs with Seattle Pro Musica and sings in her synagogue’s choir.