Danielle C Ompad

Danielle Ompad
Danielle C Ompad

Associate Dean for Education

Professor of Epidemiology

Professional overview

Dr. Danielle Ompad is an epidemiologist whose work is focused in the areas of urban health, HIV, illicit drug use, and adult access to vaccines. With respect to illicit drug use, her work has spanned the entire natural history of addiction – from initiation to cessation, with particular attention paid to risk for infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and STIs.  She has primarily worked with people who use heroin, crack, cocaine, and/or club drugs.  

In New York City, she has been examining heroin cessation among current, former, and relapsed heroin users. Working with Alliance for Public Health and the Ukrainian Institute on Public Health Policy, she analyzes harm reduction service utilization among people who inject drugs, in order to optimize service delivery in Ukraine.  Since 2013, she has served as faculty for the Fogarty-funded New York State International Training and Research Program with the goal of building research capacity in Ukraine.

Dr. Ompad’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-funded study aims to determine if herpes simplex 1 and 2 infections explain racial disparities in HIV incidence among a cohort of young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (YMSM).  In addition, Dr. Ompad and colleagues are assessing HPV infection prevalence, persistence, and clearance among this same cohort.


BS, Biology, Bowie State University, Bowie, MD
MHS, Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
PhD, Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Honors and awards

Excellence in Public Health Teaching Award, New York University (2014)
Excellence in Public Health Teaching Award, New York University (2013)
National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse Scientific Development Travel Fellowship (2010)
Delta Omega Honorary Society, Alpha Chapter (2002)

Areas of research and study

Infectious Diseases
Social Determinants of Health
Substance Abuse



Sexual and drug risk behaviors among women who have sex with women

A comparison of HIV seropositive and seronegative young adult heroin- and cocaine-using men who have sex with men in New York City, 2000-2003

Fuller, C. M., Absalon, J., Ompad, D. C., Nash, D., Koblin, B., Blaney, S., Galea, S., & Vlahov, D. (n.d.).

Publication year


Journal title

Journal of Urban Health




The purpose of this analysis was to determine the prevalence and correlates of HIV infection among a street-recruited sample of heroin- and cocaine-using men who have sex with men (MSM). Injection (injecting ≤3 years) and non-injection drug users (heroin, crack, and/or cocaine use <10 years) between 18 and 40 years of age were simultaneously street-recruited into two cohort studies in New York City, 2000-2003, by using identical recruitment techniques. Baseline data collected among young adult men who either identified as gay/bisexual or reported ever having sex with a man were used for this analysis. Nonparametric statistics guided interpretation. Of 95 heroin/ cocaine-using MSM, 25.3% tested HIV seropositive with 75% reporting a previous HIV diagnosis. The majority was black (46%) or Hispanic (44%), and the median age was 28 years (range 18-40). HIV-seropositive MSM were more likely than seronegatives to be older and to have an HIV-seropositive partner but less likely to report current homelessness, illegal income, heterosexual identity, multiple sex partners, female partners, and sex for money/drug partners than seronegatives. These data indicate high HIV prevalence among street-recruited, drug-using MSM compared with other injection drug use (IDU) subgroups and drug-using MSM; however, lower risk behaviors were found among HIV seropositives compared with seronegatives. Large-scale studies among illicit drug-using MSM from more marginalized neighborhoods are warranted.

Association of sex, hygiene and drug equipment sharing with hepatitis C virus infection among non-injecting drug users in New York City

Childhood sexual abuse and age at initiation of injection drug use

Circumstances of witnessed drug overdose in New York City: Implications for intervention

Correlates of initiation of injection drug use among young drug users in baltimore, Maryland: The need for early intervention

Drug use and the urban environment

Ecstasy use among hispanic and black substance users in New York City

Ecstasy use and its association with sexual behaviors among drug users in New York City

Effects of race, neighborhood, and social network on age at initiation of injection drug use

Prevalence and correlates of crack-cocaine injection among young injection drug users in the United States, 1997-1999

Prospective evaluation of community-acquired acute-phase hepatitis C virus infection

Suicidal ideation among African-American non-injection drug users

Vaccine disparities can be overcome

Acceptance and completion of hepatitis B vaccination among drug users in New York City.

Club drug use among minority substance users in New York City

Explaining the relationship between race/ethnicity and pharmacy purchased syringes among injection drug users in New York City

Hepatitis C Incidence - A Comparison between Injection and Noninjection Drug Users in New York City

Updating the Infection Risk Reduction Hierarchy: Preventing Transition into Injection

For the patient. Does discrimination affect the mental health of substance abusers?

HIV Prevalence, Risk Behaviors, and High-Risk Sexual and Injection Networks among Young Women Injectors Who Have Sex with Women

Racial differences in discrimination experiences and responses among minority substance users

RE: A Drug Feared in the 70's Is Tied to Suspect in Killings

Social circumstances of initiation of injection drug use and early shooting gallery attendance: Implications for HIV intervention among adolescent and young adult injection drug users

High-risk behaviors associated with transition from illicit non-injection to injection drug use among adolescent and young adult drug users: A case-control study


danielle.ompad@nyu.edu 708 Broadway 8FL New York, NY, 10003