Dr. Givens work and research is grounded in the Medical Humanities field, particularly in areas that intersect with HIV. His current work promotes equitable public health planning and communications with marginalized communities as well as qualitative work furthering stigma reduction, community resiliency, and historic and contemporary health equity and vaccine hesitancy. As a faculty member specializing in Public Health Practice, Dr. Givens brings over a decade of experience in HIV Planning and community engagement to his work in IDM. He serves as Co-PI and Project Director for the HIV Prevention and Care Project (HPCP), where he and the HPCP team continue to lead statewide HIV planning and facilitation efforts for and with the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health.
Dr. Givens other academic interests also include the study of infodemics-the roles communication and misinformation have in public health. His other work includes complementary medicine, particularly MBSR, and community experiences, beliefs, and perceptions of medicine and wellness. Dr. Givens currently serves as the Co-Director of the Center for Mindfulness and Consciousness Studies housed in IDM along with other University initiatives supporting Medical Humanities.
2018. University of Pittsburgh, Cooperative Doctoral Program in Religion. Doctor of Philosophy.
Dissertation: "“Digital Devotions: Constructing Sexual and Spiritual Identities Through Queer Saint Narratives Online”
2010. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Master of Arts, Religious Studies.
2008. University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL. BA, Religious Studies, summa cum laude, Honors.
2008. University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL. BA, Philosophy and Humanities (Psychology), summa cum laude.
Courses: IDM 2025 (MPH Section): The Critical Evaluation of Public Health Journals
PBHLTH 0460: Societal Impacts of Infectious Diseases
Lectures: Public Health Planning, Religion and Sexuality, Stakeholder Engagement in Public Health
Ha, T.,Givens,D.,Nguyen, T., and Nguyen, N. Stigmatizing Attitudes Toward People Living with HIV among Young Women Migrant Workers in Vietnam.Intl. J. Environmental Research and Public Health. June 2022.19 (11): 6366.
Givens, D., Adams, B., Bainbridge, M., Bozich, C., Friedman, M., Krier, S. Recalibrating community engagement in HIV planning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Paper Presentation,APHA Annual Conference, Boulder, CO, October 2021.
Friedman, M., Chandler, C., Adams, B., Hawk, M.,Givens, D., Bauermeister, J. and Bowleg, L. Towards a New Framework for Equity in Epidemic Allocations: Implications for HIV-prevention-allocations misalignment.American Journal of Public Health. 2021. 111 (1).
“Religious Thought and Queer Representation in the Making Advances workshop” Pittsburgh:Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh (September 27, 2018). Online.
Adams, L., Obiri, G., Givens, D., Frank, L., et al.Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Plan for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2017-2021. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Department of Health (2016).
“The Faithful Departed: Roman Catholic Saints and Perceptions of Persons with HIV/AIDS.&rdquo ARC: Journal of the Faculty of Religious Studies, 40. (2012).