Mary Jo Trepka

Professor and Chair, Department of Epidemiology


Phone: 305-348-7186



Epidemiology of HIV and STDs


Dr. Mary Jo Trepka is an infectious disease epidemiologist with a particular interest in the role of social determinants in health disparities in HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. In 2011, she received the 2010 Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering from President Barack Obama for her work analyzing the role of poverty, segregation, and rural/urban status in racial disparities in HIV survival. Currently, she is studying the role of patient-centered HIV care and women-centered HIV care in helping people with HIV to be retained in HIV care and virally suppressed despite psychosocial barriers. She also conducts research on COVID-19 and HIV co-infection and COVID-19 vaccination. Additionally, she leads the Investigator Development Core for FIU’s Research Center for Minority Institutions.

Dr. Trepka received her bachelor’s in chemistry and German at Grinnell College in 1986, her doctor of medicine from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine in 1991, and her master’s from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1994. She completed her internship in internal medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992 and her residency in preventive medicine and public health at the University of Colorado in 1994. Dr. Trepka trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the GSF-Research Center for Health and Environment in Munich, Germany from 1994-1996 and as an epidemic intelligence service officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1996-1998. She was the director of epidemiology and disease control for the Miami-Dade County Health Department from 1998–2003 and joined Florida International University full-time in 2003. She is board certified in preventive medicine and public health and a fellow in the American College of Preventive Medicine.


  • University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, MSPH
  • University of Minnesota, MD
  • Grinnell College, BA

Publications (2018-2020)

  1. Sheehan DM, Dawit R, Gbadamosi SO, Fennie KP, Li T, Gebrezgi M, Brock P, Ladner RA, Trepka MJ. Sustained HIV viral suppression among men who have sex with men in the Miami-Dade County Ryan White Program: the effect of demographic, psychosocial, provider and neighborhood factors. BMC Public Health. 2020 Mar 13;20(1):326. doi: 10.1186/s12889-020-8442-1.

  2. Gebrezgi MT, Fennie KP, Sheehan DM, Ibrahimou B, Jones SG, Brock P, Ladner RA, Trepka MJ. Developing a triage tool for use in identifying people living with HIV who are at risk for non-retention in HIV care. Int J STD AIDS. 2020 Mar;31(3):244-253. doi: 10.1177/0956462419893538. 

  3. Mauck DE, Fennie KP, Ibañez GE, Fenkl EA, Sheehan DM, Maddox LM, Spencer EC, Trepka MJ. Estimating the size of HIV-negative MSM population that would benefit from pre-exposure prophylaxis in Florida. Ann Epidemiol. 2020 Feb 14;. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2020.02.003.

  4. Kanamori M, De La Rosa M, Shrader CH, Munayco C, Doblecki-Lewis S, Prado G Safren S, Trepka MJ, Fujimoto K. Progreso en Salud: findings from two adapted social network HIV risk reduction interventions for Latina seasonal workers. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Nov 15;16(22). pii: E4530. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16224530.

  5. Mauck DE, Gebrezgi MT, Sheehan DM, Fennie KP, Ibañez GE, Fenkl EA, Trepka MJ. Population-based methods for estimating the number of men who have sex with men: a systematic review. Sex Health. 2019 Oct 29. doi: 10.1071/SH18172.

  6. Gebrezgi MT, Mauck DE, Sheehan DM, Fennie KP, Cyrus E, Degarege A, Trepka MJ. Acceptance of opt-out HIV screening in outpatient settings in the United States: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Public Health Rep. 2019 Sep/Oct;134(5):484-492. doi: 10.1177/0033354919860510.

  7. Gebrezgi MT, Sheehan DM, Mauck DE, Fennie KP, Ibanez GE, Spencer EC, Maddox LM, Trepka MJ. Individual and neighborhood predictors of retention in care and viral suppression among Florida youth (aged 13-24) living with HIV in 2015. Int J STD AIDS. 2019 Oct;30(11):1095-1104. doi: 10.1177/0956462419857302.

  8. Rojas D, Wendell D, Ferguson PhD TF, Robinson WT, Trepka MJ, Straif-Bourgeois SC. HIV-associated comorbidities as mediators of the association between people living with HIV and hospital-acquired infections. Am J Infect Control. 2019 Jul 16. pii: S0196-6553(19)30609-1. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2019.05.028.

  9. Dawson CT, Wu W, Fennie KP, Ibañez G, Cano MÁ, Pettit JW, Trepka MJ. Parental-perceived neighborhood characteristics and adolescent depressive symptoms: A multilevel moderation analysis. J Community Psychol. 2019 Sep;47(7):1568-1590. doi: 1002/jcop.22205.

  10. Sheehan DM, Auf R, Cyrus E, Fennie KP, Maddox LM, Spencer EC, Rosa M, Trepka MJ. Changing demographic among Latino MSM diagnosed with HIV in Florida, 2007-2016. AIDS Care. 2019 Dec;31(12):1593-1596. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2019.1612019.

  11. Garmendia CA, Nassar Gorra L, Rodriguez Al, Trepka MJ, Veledar E, Madhivanan P. Evaluation of the inclusion of studies identified by the FDA as having falsified data in the results of meta-analyses: the example of the Apixaban Trials. JAMA Intern Med 2019 Mar 4. Doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.7661.

  12. Sheehan DM, Gebrezgi MT, Sanchez M, Li T, Fennie KP, Trepka MJ. Concurrent and time-lagged effects of social disorganization on chlamydia rate trajectories among United States counties and the District of Columbia, 2010-2015. Sex Transm Dis. 2019 Jan 30. Doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000982. 

  13. Sheehan DM, Miller RP, Trepka MJ, Smith LR, Latkin C. Role of social network sexual norms and behaviors on the HIV sexual risk behaviors of people who inject drugs in HPTN 037. AIDS Behav. 2019 Mar 2. Doi: 10.1007/s10461-01902409-8.

  14. Sheehan DM, Gebrezgi MT, Sanchez M, Li T, Fennie KP, Trepka MJ. Concurrent and time-lagged effects of social disorganization on chlamydia rate trajectories among United States counties and the District of Columbia, 2010-2015. Sex Transm Dis. 2019 Jan 30. Doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000982. 

  15. Taveras J, Trepka MJ, Madhivanan P, Gollub El, Devieux JG, Ibrahimou B. HIV risk and testing behaviors among pregnant women tested for HIV in Florida by site type, 201. Women Health. 2019 Feb 4:1-13. Doi:10.1080/03630242.2019.1565892.

  16. Dawson CT, Wu W, Fennie KP, Ibañez G, Cano MÁ, Pettit JW, Trepka MJ. Perceived neighborhood social cohesion moderates the relationship between neighborhood structural disadvantage and adolescent depressive symptoms. Health Place. 2019 Jan 31;56:88-98. Doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2019.01.001

  17. Auf R. Trepka MJ, Selim M, Ben Taleb Z, De La Rosa M, Bastida E, Cano MÁ. E-cigarette use is associated with other tobacco use among US adolescents. Int J Public Health 2019 Jan;64(1):125-134. doi: 10.1007/s00038-018-1166-7.

  18. Trepka MJ, Sheehan DM, Fennie KP, Mauck DE, Lieb S, Maddox LM, Niyonsenga T. Racial/ethnic disparities in failure to initiate HIV care: role of HIV testing site, individual factors and neighborhood factors, Florida 2014-2015. J Health Care Poor Underserved 2018;29(3):1153-1175. 

  19. Cyrus E, Sheehan DM, Fennie K, Sanchez M, Dawson CT, Cameron M, Maddox L, Trepka MJ. Delayed diagnosis of HIV among non-Latino black Caribbean immigrants in Florida 2000-2014. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2018;29(1):266-283.

  20. Sheehan DM, Cosner C, Fennie KP, Gebrezgi MT, Cyrus E, Maddox LM, Levison JH, Spencer EC, Niyonsenga T, Trepka MJ. Role of country of birth, testing site, and neighborhood characteristics on non-linkage to HIV care Among Latinos. AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2018 Apr;32(4):165-173. doi: 10.1089/apc.2018.0021.

  21. Auf R, Trepka MJ, Selim M, Ben Taleb Z, De La Rosa M, Cano MÁ. E-cigarette marketing exposure and combustible tobacco use among adolescents in the United States. Addict Behav. 2018 Mar;78:74-79. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.10.008.

  22. Ward-Peterson M, Fennie K, Mauck D, Shakir M, Cosner C, Bhoite P, Trepka MJ, Madhivanan P. Using multilevel models to evaluate the influence of contextual factors on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and risky sexual behavior in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review. Ann Epidemiol. 2018 Feb;28(2):119-134. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2017.11.006.

  23. Ward-Peterson M, Fennie K, Baird S, Coxe S, Trepka MJ, Madhivanan P. Association between HIV awareness factors, health facility characteristics and risky sexual behavior among young women in Zomba district, Malawi. J Biosoc Sci. 2018 Jan 30:1-15. doi: 10.1017/S0021932017000694.

  24. Mauck DE, Sheehan DM, Fennie KP, Maddox LM, Trepka MJ. Role of gay neighborhood status and other neighborhood factors in racial/ethnic disparities in retention in care and viral load suppression among men who have sex with men, Florida, 2015. AIDS Behav. 2018 Jan 25. doi: 10.1007/s10461-018-2032-6.

Full list of publications 


R01MD012421-01A1 (NIH/NIMHD)                       Trepka (PI)                  1/29/2019-11/30/2023

Influence of patient-centered HIV care on retention and viral suppression

Amount: $1,396,607 

The objective of the study is to identify provider patient centered care factors that are moderating the effect of changes in individual characteristics on retention in care and viral suppression while considering neighborhood social determinants and medical case management site factors and to predict to what extent changes in patient centered care factors could improve HIV care retention and viral suppression and thus reduce health disparities.

R01MD013563-01 (NIH/NIMHD)                            Trepka (PI)                  9/12/18-4/30/2023

Women-centered HIV care practices that facilitate HIV care retention and viral suppression in the presence of adverse sociocultural factors. 

Amount: $2,353,572

The objective of the study is to use a mixed-methods approach to identify effective provider and system women-centered HIV care practices within the Miami-Dade County Ryan White Program that positively influence care retention, antiretroviral therapy adherence, and thus viral suppression among women, particularly racial/ethnic minority women experiencing sociocultural challenges.

U54 MD012393-01 (NIH/NIMHD)              Wagner (PI)                            09/20/17-06/30/22

Florida International University Center for Reducing Health Disparities in Substance Use and HIV in South Florida

Role of Trepka: PI of Investigator Development Core

Amount: $13,100,000 for the entire Center

The objective of the Center is to develop and sustain a national clinical and behavioral research program addressing health inequities and disparities associated with substance use problems and HIV for underrepresented minorities. The objective of the Investigator Development Core is to develop research opportunities for a group of early stage investigators, particularly those from underrepresented racial/ethnic minority groups, who are committed to conducting research on health disparities and to achieve the goal of successfully competing for peer-reviewed grant funding (e.g., R21, R01).

R01MD004002-03 (NIH/NIMHD)                Trepka (PI)                     09/25/09-04/30/17

Retrospective cohort study of racial disparities in HIV survival, Florida

Amount: $1,849,672    

The goal of the study was to estimate the role of the contextual factors of community deprivation, segregation, and rural residence in explaining the survival disadvantage of African Americans and characterize the extent to which the factors change between the time of diagnosis with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and death.

2P20MD002288 (NIMHD)                De La Rosa (PI of Center)      07/01/12-6/30/17

Center for Substance Use and HIV/AIDS Research on Latinos in the United States

Role of Trepka: PI of the Research, Education and Training Core

Amount: $4,983,883 for entire Center

The Center was a multi-disciplinary research, education and community outreach center dedicated to eliminate health disparities in substance abuse and HIV/AIDS among Latino minorities in the U.S. The Research, Education and Training Core’s objectives were to develop a cadre of doctoral students to conduct behavioral research on HIV/AIDS and substance abuse epidemics among Latinos, to support the career development of postdoctoral trainees and provide training to community leaders on grant writing skills and research to develop programs to address the problems of HIV/AIDS and substance use among Latinos.