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Natalie Leblanc, PhD, MPH, RN, BSN

  • Assistant Professor
  • Harriet J. Kitzman Endowed Fellow in Health Disparities
  • Affiliated Faculty, Qualitative & Mixed Methods Research Center, URMC


  • Post-doctoral Fellow in HIV Prevention Science, 2016. School of Nursing, University of Rochester. Rochester, NY
  • PhD, 2016. School of Nursing, University of Miami. Miami, FL
  • B.S.N, 2012. College of Nursing, University of Florida. Gainesville, FL
  • M.P.H, 2006. Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. Atlanta, GA
  • B.A. in Cultural Anthropology, 1998. Trinity College. Hartford, CT


Natalie Leblanc is an interdisciplinary nurse researcher. Dr. Leblanc has a 20-year career in public health, nursing, and health research and investigates the ecological, cultural, and systemic factors (social determinants of health) that influence health and wellness outcomes. As a former public health specialist, Dr. Leblanc is able to critically assess health issues from both public health and clinical perspectives - globally and domestically. As a nurse researcher, Dr. Leblanc seeks to address and investigate determinants of health disparity, assets within these factors that can be leveraged toward achieving health equity to inform intervention implementation.

Current Focus

Dr. Leblanc’s current research focuses on health care provider perspectives and praxis in sexual health promotion including across the HIV care continuum. She also studies the context of vulnerability among key populations to inform services in the U.S.

Dr. Leblanc’s program of research pursues three lines of inquiry:

  1. health providers (e.g, physicians, nurses, social workers): perspectives, praxis and processes in sexual health promotion, specifically couple-centered approaches in HIV prevention and across the HIV care continuum;
  2. health consumers: couple-centered HIV prevention and interpersonal relationship factors (e.g. couples/partners, provider/patient) that can be leveraged to promote sexual health equity;
  3. context of vulnerability to adverse sexual health outcomes (primarily HIV prevention, transmission and treatment) among marginalized populations such as: same-sex male couples, Black couples, women of color, and non-heteronormative populations such as those who engage in nonmonogamy; men of color who have sex with men.

These lines of inquiry aim to:

  1. acknowledge the role of racism and anti-Black stigma and violence on sexual health inequities;
  2. discern assets in the health and community settings that can be leveraged to promote sexual health, specifically HIV prevention and engagement across the HIV care continuum.

Dr. Leblanc primarily uses multi-method qualitative/quantitative approaches to inquiry. Her focus is on qualitative description, content and thematic analytic approaches, qualitative dyadic data collection and analysis, and observational techniques; she has also led and collaborated on projects that utilize: 1) synthesis approaches (metasynthesis and meta-analysis); and 2) descriptive and advanced statistical techniques.

Post-doctoral Fellow (Tenure –track), University of Rochester, School of Nursing (HIV Prevention Science), Rochester, NY, US. 2016 - Current

Graduate Fellow Research Assistant, University of Miami, School of Nursing, Miami, FL, US. 2013 - 2016

Registered Nurse, North Florida Veterans Affair Medical Center, Gainesville, FL, US. 2013 - 2013

City Research Scientist II (Technical Assistance Coordinator/Project Officer), New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control – HIV Testing Unit), New York, NY, US. 2009 - 2011

City Research Scientist I (Special Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner), New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention), New York, NY, US. 2006 - 2009

Teaching Assistant, Emory University, Global Health (Proposal Development Course), Atlanta, GA, US. 2006 - 2006

Research Specialist, Rwanda Zambia HIV/AIDS Research Group, Atlanta, GA, US. 2005 - 2006

Principal Investigator (Graduate student), Yendi District Hospital, GH. 2005 - 2005

Graduate Assistant, Global Health Action, Atlanta, GA, US. 2004 - 2005

Consultant/Technical Advisor, The Carter Center, Global 2000 (Guinea Worm Eradication Program), Northern Region, GH. 2003 - 2003

Drancunculiasis Eradication Program Coordinator (Peace Corps Volunteer), Peace Corps, GH. 2000 - 2002

Legal Assistant (Tax Certiori), Podell, Schwartz, Schectner & Banfield LLP, New York, NY, US. 1999 - 2000

Paralegal (Immigration), Stephen Jeffries and Associates, New York, NY, US. 1998 - 1999
Nurse Researcher of the Year
National Black Nurses Association, 2022

McKnight Fellow
University of Miami, School of Nursing, 2013

Global Field Experience Award
Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, 2005
Threats and Assets, Past and Present: Considerations for Moving Towards Sexual Health Promotion as Normative Practice
8th Annual New York State Sexual Health Conference: Directions, Perspectives and Predictions Day 1,, Clinical Education Initiative (CEI), 2022

Sexual (and Reproductive) Health and Wellness: What is it? Why is it important?
Faith Communities Project & Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church Rochester National week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS., New York State AIDS Institute, 2022

Making Meaning and Operationalizing Sexual Health Promotion among Health Care Providers in Western New York State
Lambert, F.**, Rosario-McCabe, L., Smith, MDR**, St. Vil, N., Alio, PA.
SSSS Annual Conference-, The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, 2021

Sexual Health Conversations among Black Heterosexual/Opposite Sex (BHOS) Couples in Western New York
Lambert, F.**, Mitchell, JW, Juarez, AC, Bond, K., St. Vil, N., McMahon, J.
SSSS Annual Conference, The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, 2021

It’s just not Tuskegee, Other Historical (and Contemporary) Events that Impact Sexual Health Promotion
Lunch & Learn, Clinical Education Initiative Sexual Health Center of Excellence, 2021

The Crucial Role Nurses Can Play in HIV Testing
Annual Virtual Institute and Conference Webinar, 49th Annual National Black Nurses Association, 2021

The Fire this Time: Inequalities in the Time of COVID-19.
Rochester Experiences Webinar Series. University of Rochester., University of Rochester School of Nursing, 2020

South Florida Providers’ Approaches to HIV Screening & Patient Engagement into Care
Association of Nurses in AIDS Care 29th Annual Conference, 2016
Atlanta, Georgia

Anal Cancer Awareness and Screening Behaviors Among HIV-infected Men Who Have Sex with Men in South Florida
American Association for Cancer Research Meeting, 2015
Atlanta, Georgia

How to Get People to Test for HIV and Obtain their Results: A Qualitative Metasynthesis of Published Works from 2008 to 2013
Association of Nurses in AIDS Care 28th Annual Conference, 2015
Chicago, Illinois

Exploring the Concept of Negotiated Safety: Implications for Reducing HIV Risk among Black Men who have Sex with Men
National African American MSM Leadership Conference on HIV/AIDS and other Health Disparities, 2015
Atlanta, Georgia

The Impact of Parent Reaction to Sexual Orientation on Depressive Symptoms and Sex Risk among Hispanic Men Who Have Sex with Men
Sigma Theta Tau International 25th International Nursing Research Congress, 2014

National HIV Prevention Conference 2011, Implementation of the Social Network Strategy – The New York City Experience
, 2011
Atlanta, Georgia

Knowledge, Risk and Barriers: Willingness to Test for HIV Among Men in Yendi District, Ghana
Unite for Sight Conference, 2010
New Haven, Connecticut

A Comprehensive Approach to an Evaluation of Couples Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing at Project San Francisco in Kigali, Rwanda
XVI International AIDS Conference, 2006
Kigali, Rwanda
Muheriwa-Matemba, S.R., Alcena-Stiner, D.C., Glazier, A., & LeBlanc, N.M. (2024). Telehealth use for sexual and reproductive health promotion and care during the early phase of COVID-19 pandemic: A descriptive-interpretive qualitative study of healthcare providers’ perspectives and experiences in Western - Central New York State. . DOI: 10.1101/2024.05.02.24306759

Leblanc, N.M., Muheriwa-Matemba, S.R., St. Vil, N., Alcena-Stiner, D.C., Bond, K.T., Glazier, A., Rosario-McCabe, L., Lambert, F., & Smith, M. (2024). Couple-Centered HIV Prevention and Care: Endorsement, Practice and Uncertainty among US Healthcare Providers in Western-Central Upstate New York. . DOI: 10.1101/2024.02.08.24302510

Zhang, Y., Flannery, M., Zhang, Z., Underhill-Blazey, M., Bobry, M., Leblanc, N., Rodriguez, D. & Zhang, C. (2024). Digital Health Psychosocial Intervention in Adult Patients With Cancer and Their Families: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. JMIR Cancer. PMID: 38315546 DOI: 10.2196/46116

Zhang, Y., Flannery, M., Zhang, Z., Underhill-Blazey, M., Bobry, M., Leblanc, N., Rodriguez, D. & Zhang, C. (2023). Digital Health Psychosocial Intervention in Adult Patients With Cancer and Their Families: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (Preprint). . DOI: 10.2196/preprints.46116

Matemba, S.R.M., Cianelli, R., Leblanc, N.M., Zhang, C., De Santis, J., Rodriguez, N.V., & McMahon, J.M. (2022). Associations between Home-and School-Based Violent Experiences and the Development of Sexual Behavior in Young Adolescent Girls in the Rural Southern Region of Malawi. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (10). PMID: 35627344 PMCID: PMC9141795 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19105809

Leblanc, N.M., Mitchell, J.W., Bond, K.T., Juarez Cuellar, A., Vil, N.M.S., & McMahon, J. (2022). Perspectives on a Couples-Based, e-Health HIV Prevention Toolkit Intervention: A Qualitative Dyadic Study with Black, Heterosexual Couples in New York State. Archives of Sexual Behavior. PMID: 35639220 DOI: 10.1007/s10508-021-02270-8

Wilson, K., Przbyla, S., Bleasdale, J., Gabriel, S., Leblanc, N., & St. Vil, N. (2022). Factors correlated with pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) awareness and use among black adults in the United States: implications for improving HIV prevention. AIDS Care. PMID: 35981242 DOI: 10.1080/09540121.2022.2113027

St. Vil, N.M., Leblanc, N.M., & Giles, K.N. (2021). The Who and Why of Consensual Nonmonogamy Among African Americans. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 50 (3), 1143-1150. PMID: 33237383 DOI: 10.1007/s10508-020-01835-3

Bond, K.T., Leblanc, N.M., Williams, P., Gabriel, C.-A., & Amutah-Onukagha, N.N. (2021). Race-Based Sexual Stereotypes, Gendered Racism, and Sexual Decision Making Among Young Black Cisgender Women. Health Education and Behavior, 48 (3), 295-305. PMID: 34080468 PMCID: PMC8491461 DOI: 10.1177/10901981211010086

McMahon, J.M., Simmons, J., Haberer, J.E., Mannheimer, S., Leblanc, N.M., Torres, L., Quiles, R., Aedo, G., Javier, A., Braksmajer, A., Harriman, G., Trabold, N., Pouget, E.R., Kurth, A., Smith, M.D.R., Brasch, J., Podsiadly, E.J., & Anderson, P.L. (2021). The Magnetic Couples Study: Protocol for a mixed methods prospective cohort study of HIV-serodifferent heterosexual couples' perspectives and use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). BMJ Open, 11 (7). PMID: 34210734 PMCID: PMC8252879 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-048993

St. Vil, N.M., Leblanc, N.M., Bleasdale, J., Wilson, K., & Przybyla, S. (2021). An Analysis of Sex Practices and Behaviors Among African Americans in Sexually Concurrent and Sexually Exclusive Relationships. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. PMID: 34405391 DOI: 10.1007/s40615-021-01130-4

Leblanc, N.M., Crean, H.F., Dyer, T.P., Zhang, C., Turpin, R., Zhang, N., Smith, M.D.R., McMahon, J., & Nelson, L. (2021). Correction to: Ecological and Syndemic Predictors of Drug Use During Sex and Transactional Sex among U.S. Black Men Who Have Sex with Men: A Secondary Data Analysis from the HPTN 061 Study. Archives of Sexual Behavior. PMID: 33974202 DOI: 10.1007/s10508-021-02033-5

Zhang, C., McMahon, J., Leblanc, N., Braksmajer, A., Crean, H.F., & Alcena-Stiner, D. (2020). Association of Medical Mistrust and Poor Communication with HIV-Related Health Outcomes and Psychosocial Wellbeing among Heterosexual Men Living with HIV. AIDS Patient Care and STDs. PMID: 31755736 PMCID: PMC6983731 DOI: 10.1089/apc.2019.0200

De Santis J.P., Quidley-Rodriguez N., Mathurin E.P., Valdes B., Leblanc N.M., Provencio-Vasquez E., & Martinez J. (2020). Circumventing vs. Guiding: A Grounded Theory Study of Sexual Negotiation Among Hispanic Men Who Have Sex with Men. Journal of Social Service Research. DOI: 10.1080/01488376.2020.1734711

Zhang, C., Mitchell, W., Xue, Y., LeBlanc, N.M., & Liu, Y. (2020). Understanding the role of nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other nursing staff in HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis care in the United States: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Nursing, 19 (1). PMID: 33292201 PMCID: PMC7724856 DOI: 10.1186/s12912-020-00503-0

Harris O.O., Leblanc N., McGee K., Randolph S., Wharton M.J., & Relf M. (2020). Alarm at the Gate-Health and Social Inequalities are Comorbid Conditions of HIV and COVID-19. JANAC Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 31 (4), 367-375. PMID: 32568762 PMCID: PMC8272948 DOI: 10.1097/JNC.0000000000000190

Leblanc, N.M., & McMahon, J. (2019). Perceived facilitators and barriers to couples' HIV testing and counseling in U.S. clinical settings: Perspectives from U.S. health providers. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. PMID: 30672780 DOI: 10.1097/JNC.0000000000000055

Ogunbajo A., Leblanc N.M., Kushwaha S., Boakye F., Hanson S., Smith M.D.R., & Nelson L.E. (2019). Knowledge and Acceptability of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Ghana. AIDS Care-Psychological And Socio-Medical Aspects Of AIDS/HIV. PMID: 31597455 PMCID: PMC6980967 DOI: 10.1080/09540121.2019.1675858

McMahon J.M., Braksmajer A., Zhang C., Leblanc N., Chen M., Aidala A., & Simmons J. (2019). Syndemic factors associated with adherence to antiretroviral therapy among HIV-positive adult heterosexual men. AIDS Research and Therapy, 16 (1). PMID: 31706357 PMCID: PMC6842154 DOI: 10.1186/s12981-019-0248-9

Zhang C., McMahon J., Leblanc N., Braksmajer A., Crean H.F., & Alcena-Stiner D. (2019). Association of Medical Mistrust and Poor Communication with HIV-Related Health Outcomes and Psychosocial Wellbeing Among Heterosexual Men Living with HIV. AIDS Patient Care and STDs. PMID: 31755736 PMCID: PMC6983731 DOI: 10.1089/apc.2019.0200

Braksmajer, A., Leblanc, N.M., El-Bassel, N., Urban, M.A., & McMahon, J.M. (2019). Feasibility and acceptability of pre-exposure prophylaxis use among women in violent relationships. Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV. PMID: 30045629 DOI: 10.1080/09540121.2018.1503634

Nelson, L.E., McMahon, J.M., Leblanc, N.M., Braksmajer, A., Crean, H.F., Smith, K., & Xue, Y. (2019). Advancing the case for nurse practitioner-based models to accelerate scale-up of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis. Journal of Clinical Nursing. PMID: 30230068 DOI: 10.1111/jocn.14675

Zhang C., McMahon J., Fiscella K., Przybyla S., Braksmajer A., LeBlanc N., & Liu Y. (2019). HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Implementation Cascade Among Health Care Professionals in the United States: Implications from a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 33 (12), 507-527. PMID: 31821044 PMCID: PMC6918849 DOI: 10.1089/apc.2019.0119

Leblanc, N.M., Albuja, L., & DeSantis, J. (2018). The uses of self and space: Health providers' approaches to engaging patients into the HIV care continuum. AIDS Patient Care and STDs. PMID: 30067407 PMCID: PMC6909711 DOI: 10.1089/apc.2017.0284

Leblanc, N.M., & Mitchell, J. W. (2018). Providers’ perceptions of couples’ HIV testing and counseling (CHTC): Perspectives from a U.S. HIV epicenter. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice. PMID: 30319926 PMCID: PMC6179155 DOI: 10.1037/cfp0000097

Mitrani, V.B., De Santis, J.P., McCabe, B.E., Deleon, D.A., Gattamorta, K.A., & Leblanc, N.M. (2017). The impact of parental reaction to sexual orientation on depressive symptoms and sexual risk behavior among Hispanic men who have sex with men. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing. PMID: 28693870 PMCID: PMC5721521 DOI: 10.1016/j.apnu.2017.04.004

Barroso, J., Leblanc, N. M., & Flores, D. (2017). It's Not Just the Pills: A Qualitative Meta-Synthesis of HIV Antiretroviral Adherence Research. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 28 (4), 462-478.

Koskan, A., & Leblanc, N. (2016). HPV knowledge and screening among gay men of color in South Florida. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 25(3 Supplement), B72.

Leblanc, N.M., Mitchell, J. & DeSantis, J. (2016). Negotiated safety – components, context and use: An integrative literature review. Journal of Advanced Nursing. PMID: 27906471 DOI: 10.1111/jan.13228

Gonzalez-Guarda, R.M., McCabe, B., Leblanc, N., De Santis, J.P. & Provencio-Vasquez, E. (2016). The contribution of stress, cultural factors and sexual identity on the substance abuse, violence, HIV and depression syndemic among Hispanic men. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 22 (4), 563-571. PMID: 27159650 PMCID: PMC5053835 DOI: 10.1037/cdp0000077

Flores, D., Leblanc, N., & Barroso, J. (2016). Enroling and retaining human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients in their care: A metasynthesis of qualitative studies. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 26 (3), 294-306.

Koskan, A., Leblanc, N. & Rosa-Cunha, I. (2016). Exploring anal dysplasia screening perceptions and behaviors among HIV-infected gay and bisexual men. Cancer Control, 23 (1), 52-58. PMID: 27009457 PMCID: PMC4928714 DOI: 10.1177/107327481602300109

Leblanc, N. M., & Andes, K. L. (2015). An exploration of men's knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of HIV, HIV risk, and willingness to test for HIV in Yendi District, Northern Ghana. The Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 26 (3), 281-295. PMID: 25456835 DOI: 10.1016/j.jana.2014.09.006

Flores, D., Leblanc, N., & Barroso, J. (2015). Facilitators and barriers to HIV screening: A qualitative metasynthesis. Qualitative Health Research, 26 (3), 294-306. PMID: 26631679 DOI: 10.1177/1049732315616624

Standing Orders to Improve HPV Vaccination
9/1/2022 - 8/31/2027
Role: Co-Investigator
PI: Rand, C.

Positive Deviance and Health Literacy: Underexplored Constructs for Successful Translational Science
7/1/2023 - 6/30/2024
Role: Co-I
PI: Lindsay Batek, ND, BSN, RN

Development of an HIV Status Neutral Protocol in a Nurse-led Primary Healthcare Setting
10/1/2023 - 5/31/2024
Role: Principal Investigator

Pilot Program to Support Methamphetamine Overdose Prevention
NYS Department of Health
5/1/2023 - 4/30/2024
Role: Principal Investigator

Heterosexual couples’ attitudes and associated factors of couple’s HIV testing and counseling
8/1/2019 - 6/30/2021
Role: Co-Investigator
PI: Jason Mitchell
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