Kimberly Vasquez - León, Nicaragua

León, Nicaragua

Career goal: Program development, evaluation and management

Internship outline: This summer Kimberly Vasquez worked with a research team in an HIV clinic at a public hospital in León, Nicaragua and participated in community service. The team conducted a mixed methods study to determine the clinic’s baseline HIV antiretroviral medication adherence and assessed self-reported barriers and facilitators to antiretroviral medication adherence. The group also taught health education classes at a high school in a nearby rural town with high rates of teenage pregnancy.

Value of experience: This experience inspired me to pursue program evaluation and management, since in Nicaragua I witnessed a huge lack of infrastructure for the evaluation of public health programs and interventions.

Best moment/experience: The tremendous love and gratitude from my patients. Many of them had never had the opportunity to discuss their HIV status with anyone. They were grateful to have the chance to express their worries and dreams. They constantly told me it felt good to have someone care about their lives.

Funding source: Down’s Fellowship

Kimberly Vasquez