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Dr. Oralia

Dr. Oralia Loza is an associate professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her work centers around community and focuses on finding ways to improve people's lives through research focused on HIV and HIV prevention.

Dr. Loza was born in the Bay Area. Before coming to El Paso, Dr. Loza studied in several different places, from Santa Barbara to Spain. In 1998, she received her B.S in Mathematics and later, in 2001, her M.A in Applied Statistics, from U.C Santa Barbara. In 2009, she earned her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from U.C San Diego and San Diego State University. That same year, Dr. Loza moved to El Paso in December of 2009.

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Since then, Dr. Loza has taught lectures and presented a wide variety of topics. From 1997 to 2001, she was a co-instructor for the Math Geometry courses at Santa Barbara City College. In 2001, she was the lead Teaching Assistant for Intro to Statistics and instructor for the Intro to Mathematical Finances at the University of California in Santa Barbara. In 2003, she was the department lecturer for the Math Education Department at San Diego State University. In 2010, she began working at UTEP and she has been tenured as an Associate Professor in UTEP’s College of Health Sciences. 

Dr. Loza's work focuses on HIV and HIV prevention. She moved to El Paso in hopes of gaining a better understanding and a chance to learn about the trans women of the Borderland and the relationship between HIV and migrants. Overall, her work is focused on the needs of the Borderland community and how through her research she can help develop an intervention plan to combat HIV, especially in marginalized communities.

For almost 20 years, Dr. Loza’s involvement within the LGBTQ community of El Paso has made a profound impact in the community, from community outreach to finding ways to make friendly health care more accessible. In 2016, Dr. Oralia Loza, and two of her students, launched the website The Purple Pages. Medical, mental health, and social service providers were surveyed as to the level of LGBTQ cultural competency and their commitment to creating and maintain services that are LGBTQ-friendly.  Data from this survey led to a peer-reviewed publication (listed below). The Purple Pages connects the LGBTQ community to friendly healthcare and social services providers around the El Paso region.

She has also participated in several LGBTQ community organizations. She previously served on different LGBTQ advisory boards. Recently she served as officer and secretary of the LGBTQ advisory committee for state SenatorJose Rodriguez from 2018-2020. She was a member of the El Paso HIV Mobilization Group from 2013-2020.

As a result of her dedication to her research and the Borderland community, Dr. Loza has been honored with numerous awards. In 2018, she was awarded the Pillar of Public Health award for her work and co-founding the Purple Pages of El Paso. That same year, she was named Grand Marshal at the Sun City PRIDE Parade. In 2020, she was named Pride Constituent by congresswoman Veronica Escobar.

Today Dr. Loza continues to work alongside LGBTQ community organizations to further her research. In 2020, Dr. Loza was co-author of a survey that analyzed the COVD 19 affected marginalized groups including gender diverse people and queer people of color. She also continues to teach in the Public Health  Department at UTEP. Dr. Loza’s work is a constant reminder that everyone deserves to have access to quality health care that caters to the needs of all people and that LGBTQ people’s issues need to be included in research at all levels.

Published Works

  • Differences in Substance Use and Sexual Risk by Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Among University and Community Young Adults in a U.S.-Mexico Border City Health Promotion Practice/SAGE Publications 22 4 (2021), Oralia Loza, Thenral D. Mangadu, Joao B. Ferreira-Pinto, Priscilla Guevara.

  • Health Disparities in Access to Health Care for HIV Infection, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health among Latino Men who Have Sex with Men in a U.S.-Mexico Border City Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services 33 3 (2021), Oralia Loza, Elias Provencio-Vasquez, Bibiana M. Mancera, Joseph De Santis.

  • COVID-19 & YOU: Experiences of Sexual and Gender Diverse Texans During COVID-19 Pandemic (2021), Phillip W. Schnarrs, Oralia Loza, Erica Ciszek, Yona Elias-Curry, Sheridan Aguilar, Mark A. Bond, Aliza Norwood, The Texas COVID-19 & You Coalition.

  • Methamphetamine Use and Sexual Risk Behaviors among Men who have Sex with Men in a Mexico-U.S. Border City The American Journal on Addictions (2020), Oralia Loza, Zulieka V. Curiel, Oscar Beltran, Rebecca L. Ramos.

  • Healthcare and Social Services Providers Who Serve Sexual and Gender Minorities in a U.S.-Mexico Border City Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 20 6 (2018), Oralia Loza, Carlos R. Alvarez, David Torres.

  • Developing Trans-Affirming Health Services in an Underserved Area: An Intersectional Approach Transgender Health 3 1 (2018), Oralia Loza, Paulina Hernandez, Jessica Calderon-Mora, Shaked Laks, Marie Leiner, Sireesha Reddy, Patricia Lara, Hector Granados.

  • Sexual Risk Associated with Having Sex with Men in the Among Men Who Use Methamphetamine in a Mexico-U.S. Border City The College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) 80th Annual Scientific Meeting (2018), Oralia Loza, Joao B. Ferreira-Pinto, Maria Elena Ramos Rodriguez, Rebecca L. Ramos.

  • Sexual Risk Associated with Having Sex with Men in the Among Men Who Use Methamphetamine in a Mexico-U.S. Border City 2018 Joint NIDA International Forum (2018), Oralia Loza, Joao B. Ferreira-Pinto, Maria Elena Ramos Rodriguez, Rebecca L. Ramos.

  • Prevalence and Correlates of HCV among people who inject drugs and their non-injecting sex partners in a México-U.S. City [Prevalencia y correlaciones del virus de la hepatitis C entre personas que se inyectan drogas y sus parejas sexuales en una ciudad fronteriza de México-EE.UU.] Boletín de Atención Integral de Personas con VIH, Centro Nacional para la Prevención y Control del VIH/SIDA (CENSIDA) 5 1 (2018), Oralia Loza, Leilani Attilio, Rebecca L. Ramos, Maria E. Ramos, Joao B. Ferreira-Pinto, Jorge Duque Rodríguez.

  • Use of lead glazed ceramic-ware and lead-based folk remedies in a rural community of Baja California, Mexico Global Health Promotion 25 1 (2018), Michael D. Welton, Alfonso Rodriguez-Lainz, Oralia Loza, Stephanie Brodine, Miguel Fraga.

  • Drug Use and Sexual Risk Associated with Having Sex with Men in the Last 12 Months among Men Who Use Methamphetamine in a Mexico-U.S. Border City (VIDA METH PILOT Study) 17th Annual International Conference, National Hispanic Science Network (2017), Oralia Loza, Joao B. Ferreira-Pinto, Maria Elena Ramos, Rebeca Ramos.

  • Substance Use by Immigrant Generation in a U.S.-Mexico Border City Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 19 5 (2017), Oralia Loza, Ernesto Castaneda, Brian Diedrich.

  • Exploring the Two Trigger Fingers Thesis: Racial and Ethnic Differences in Officer Involved Shootings Contemporary Justice Review: Issues in Criminal, Social, and Restorative Justice 20 1 (2017), Robert J. Duran, Oralia Loza.

  • A Qualitative Exploratory Study on Gender Identity and the Health Risks and Barriers to Care for Transgender Women Living in a U.S.-Mexico Border City International Journal of Transgenderism (WPATH Journal) 18 1 (2017), Oralia Loza, Oscar Beltran, Thenral D. Mangadu.

  • Increasing our advocacy capacity through HIV Community Mobilization: Perspectives from emerging and mid-Career Professionals Health Promotion Practice 18 1 (2017), Irene Ovalle, Oralia Loza, David Peralta-Torres, Jacob Martinez, Kristen Hernandez, Holly Mata.

  • A Qualitative Exploration of Perceived Gender Differences in Methamphetamine Use among Women who use Methamphetamine on the Mexico-U.S. Border Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse 15 4 (2016), Oralia Loza, Rebeca Ramos, Maria Teresa Hernandez, Joao B. Ferreira-Pinto, Susana A. Villalobos.

  • Increasing our advocacy capacity through HIV community mobilization: Perspectives from emerging and mid-career professionals. (2016), Ovalle, Oralia Loza, David Peralta-Torres, Jacob Martinez, Kristen Hernandez, Holly J. Mata.

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