Christina S. Meade

Christina S. Meade

Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

External Address: 
905 W. Main Street, Suite 24-E, Durham, NC 27701
Internal Office Address: 
905 W. Main Street, Box 102848, Durham, NC 27710


Dr. Meade’s domestic research program focuses on predictors of HIV risk behavior in adults with substance use and psychiatric disorders, and the relationship between neuropsychiatric conditions and continued risk behavior in HIV-positive adults. She is particularly interested in how drug addiction and HIV infection impact executive functions, such as decision making, that lead individuals to engage in risky behaviors. Many of her current projects incorporate MRI to isolate the effects of addiction and HIV on both brain function and structure. Dr. Meade is also interested in the development of evidence-based treatments to improve cognitive functioning and reduce risk behaviors among drug users.

Given that most people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS live in Sub-Saharan Africa, Dr. Meade’s international research program is based in South Africa. The Western Cape has experienced a dramatic increase in methamphetamine use since the early 2000s, and there is concern that it may further fuel the HIV epidemic in this country. Current projects focus on characterizing drug addiction and HIV risk behaviors in this understudied group, both in in community and treatment settings, and ultimately increasing uptake of HIV services to improve health outcomes and reduce the continued spread of HIV.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Yale University 2006

Selected Grants

Modeling the effects of chronic marijuana use on neuroinflammation and HIV-related neuronal injury awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2020 to 2025

Interdisciplinary Research Training Program in AIDS awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2010 to 2025

Role of cannabis on HIV-related cognitive impairment: a brain connectomics study awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2023

MRI data fusion to investigate effects of drug abuse on HIV neurological complications awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2023

Mobile health interventions for varenicline adherence among HIV-positive smokers awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Mentor). 2017 to 2022

A Systems Biology Approach to HIV-associated Neurocognitive Impairment: Role of Drug Abuse and Neuroinflammation awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2021

Decision Making and HIV Risk: New Approaches to neuroAIDS Research in Drug Users awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2020

Testing a Biopsychosocial Model of Minority Stress and Health for HIV-Positive Men awarded by Research Foundation of The City University of New York (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2020

Cognitive Training to Reduce Impulsivity in HIV-infected Cocaine Users awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2019

NeuroAIDS research with disadvantaged drug users awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2017


Miles, M. S., et al. “Emotional distress in african american women with hiv.” HIV: Issues with Mental Health and Illness, 2014, pp. 35–50. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9781315785509. Full Text

Hall, Shana A., et al. “Synergistic effects of HIV and marijuana use on functional brain network organization.Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry, vol. 104, Jan. 2021, p. 110040. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.pnpbp.2020.110040. Full Text

Lee, Jared, et al. “Tryptophan degradation is associated with risk-taking propensity in methamphetamine users with treated HIV infection.J Neurovirol, vol. 26, no. 5, Oct. 2020, pp. 779–84. Pubmed, doi:10.1007/s13365-020-00841-4. Full Text

Meade, Christina S., et al. “HIV Prevalence and Associated Risks in a Respondent-Driven Sample of Illicit Stimulant Users in a Southern United States City.Aids Behav, vol. 24, no. 8, Aug. 2020, pp. 2336–46. Pubmed, doi:10.1007/s10461-020-02793-6. Full Text

Bell, Ryan P., et al. “Neural sensitivity to risk in adults with co-occurring HIV infection and cocaine use disorder.Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci, vol. 20, no. 4, Aug. 2020, pp. 859–72. Pubmed, doi:10.3758/s13415-020-00806-4. Full Text

Pacek, Lauren R., et al. “Cigarette Smoking and Cessation-Related Interactions With Health Care Providers in the Context of Living With HIV: Focus Group Study Findings.J Assoc Nurses Aids Care, July 2020. Pubmed, doi:10.1097/JNC.0000000000000185. Full Text Open Access Copy

Towe, Sheri L., et al. “Reciprocal Influences of HIV and Cannabinoids on the Brain and Cognitive Function.J Neuroimmune Pharmacol, May 2020. Pubmed, doi:10.1007/s11481-020-09921-y. Full Text

Patel, Puja, et al. “Problematic alcohol use among fathers in Kenya: Poverty, people, and practices as barriers and facilitators to help acceptance.Int J Drug Policy, vol. 75, Jan. 2020, p. 102576. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.10.003. Full Text