Karen McKinnon, MA

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I have been conducting research and training about the mental health aspects of HIV infection for over 25 years. My work as a Research Scientist has been primarily with people with severe mental illness, mapping rates of HIV infection in New York City, learning their risk behaviors, and developing interventions that help them reduce their risk for acquiring or transmitting the virus. In addition to conducting NIMH-funded research in New York and Brazil, I am the director of the Columbia HIV Mental Health Training Project.

As a component of the New York/New Jersey AIDS Education and Training Center, we train prescribers about the intersection of mental health and HIV care. We also are funded by NYSDOH AIDS Institute as the Clinical Education Initiative's Evaluation Center, coordinating all training outcome data and analysis for their Centers of Excellence.

Academic Appointments

  • Staff Associate


  • Female


Selected Publications

  • Cournos F, McKinnon K, Wainberg ML: Epidemiology of Psychiatric Disorders Associated with HIV and AIDS , Oxford University Press, New York, NY, USA, 2015
  • Kim S, Ades M, Pinho V, Cournos F, McKinnon K: Patterns of HIV and mental health service integration in New York State. AIDS Care 2014;26: 1027-31
  • Elkington KS, Hackler D, Walsh TA, Latack JA, McKinnon K, Borges C, Wright ER, Wainberg ML: Perceived mental illness stigma, intimate relationships and sexual risk behavior in youth with mental illness. J Adolesc Res 2013;28: 378-404
  • Wainberg ML, McKinnon K, Mattos PE, Pinto D, Gruber Mann C, dos Santos de Oliveira CS, Broxado de Oliveira S, Remien RH, Elkington KS, Cournos F: A Model for Adapting Evidence-based Behavioral Interventions to a New Culture: HIV Prevention for Psychiatric Patients in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. AIDS and Behavior 2007;11: 872-83
  • Wainberg ML, Gonzalez MA, McKinnon K, Elkington KS, de Souza Pinto D, Gruber Mann C, Mattos P, PRISSMA Project : Targeted Ethnography as a Critical Step to Inform Cultural Adaptations of HIV Prevention Interventions for Adults with Severe Mental Illness. Social Science and Medicine 2007;65: 296-308