Member Details

Affiliate Member


Tyrel J. Starks, PhD

Hunter College
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Health Equity/Research Interest

Over the past decade, it has become increasingly clear that addressing the HIV epidemic in the U.S. requires attention to relationship factors. Relationship status and the agreements couples form about sex with partners outside their relationship are now components in the guidance for Pre-exposure Prophylaxis issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Couples HIV Testing and Counseling has been endorsed as a standard of care for partnered sexual minority men by both CDC and WHO.

Over this same decade, I have built a program of research that has contributed substantially to the national conversation about intimate relationships as a context for the behavioral health of sexual minority men. I am particularly interested in how partners in romantic relationships co-regulate each other’s behavior. I have utilized formative data from qualitative and quantitative studies to examine the intersection of relationship functioning, substance use and sexual risk taking. This formative work has then guided the development of behavioral interventions tailored for couples and individuals. My research team has been at the forefront of developing Motivational Interviewing interventions for couples as well as individually delivered interventions tailored for people in relationships.


As a research focused clinical psychologist, I am deeply invested in the study of health disparities related to substance use and HIV infection, particularly those impacting sexual minority men. I have substantial expertise in grant writing, study management, and dissemination. I look forward to the opportunity to learn about and engage with the work of colleagues in the New York City area with the goal of developing interdisciplinary collaboration that benefits our collective work and the community.




Associate Professor


Hunter College

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Area of Expertise (Methods)


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Area of Expertise (Content)


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Area of interest

Community Engagement and Dissemination, Investigator Development/Mentorship

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Center Membership


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