Yesenia Aponte-Meléndez, PhD
CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy - Investigator
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing - Postdoctoral Fellow
PhD, Sociology, The New School for Social Research
MA, Sociology, The City University of New York (CUNY)
BA, Sociology and Political Science, University of Puerto Rico
Research Interests
Health equity, gender, substance use, HIV, hepatitis C, people who inject drugs, environmental justice, harm reduction
Yesenia Aponte-Meléndez received her PhD from The New School for Social Research. She is an early-stage investigator at CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and a postdoctoral fellow at Behavioral Science Training in Drug Abuse Research (BST). Her research areas include substance use, infectious disease epidemiology, and social epidemiology. Ongoing projects include examining: 1) prevalence of HCV antibody and HCV viremia among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Puerto Rico, 2) barriers and facilitators of HCV care from PWID’s and medical and social service providers’ perspectives, and 3) the feasibility of using dried blood spot testing to determine HCV prevalence in PWIDs’ natural environment settings.
Principal Investigator, Epidemiological Assessment of Hepatitis C among People Who Inject Drugs in Puerto Rico. Completed


Aponte-Melendez Y, Mateu-Gelabert P, Eckhardt B, Fong C, Padilla A, Trinidad-Martinez W, Maldonado-Rodriguez E, Agront N (2023).
Hepatitis C virus care cascade among people who inject drugs in Puerto Rico: Minimal HCV treatment and substantial barriers to HCV care
Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports, 8, 100178. doi: 10.1016/j.dadr.2023.100178. PMCID: PMC10404601.

Kapadia SN, Aponte-Melendez Y, Rodriguez A, Pai M, Eckhardt BJ, Marks KM, Fong C, Mateu-Gelabert P (2023).
“Treated like a human being”: Perspectives of people who inject drugs attending low-threshold HCV treatment at a syringe service program in New York City
Harm Reduction Journal, 20 (1), 95. doi: 10.1186/s12954-023-00831-9. PMCID: PMC10375754.

Kapadia SN, Eckhardt BJ, Leff JA, Fong C, Mateu-Gelabert P, Marks KM, Aponte-Melendez Y, Schackman BR (2022).
Cost of providing co-located hepatitis C treatment at a syringe service program exceeds potential reimbursement: Results from a clinical trial
Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports, 5, 100109. doi: 10.1016/j.dadr.2022.100109. PMCID: PMC9836210.

Eckhardt B, Aponte-Melendez Y, Kapadia SN, Mateu-Gelabert P (2022).
Contact tracing in acute hepatitis C: The source patient identification and group overlap therapy proof-of-concept pilot program
Clinical Liver Disease, 20 (2), 72-76. doi: 10.1002/cld.1242. PMCID: PMC9405500.

Eckhardt B, Kapadia SN, Mateu-Gelabert P, Pai M, Fong C, Aponte-Melendez Y, Marks KM (2022).
Rapid treatment initiation for hepatitis C in young people who inject drugs: The seek, test, and rapid treatment randomized trial
Open Forum Infectious Diseases, 9 (7), ofac225. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofac225. PMCID: PMC9272437.


Abadie R, Gelpi-Acosta C, Aquino-Ruiz F, Aponte-Melendez Y (2021).
COVID-19 risks among people who inject drugs in Puerto Rico
International Journal of Drug Policy, 93, 102903. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102903. PMCID: PMC7428716.

Gelpi-Acosta C, Rodriguez-Diaz CE, Aponte-Melendez Y, Abadie R (2020).
Puerto Rican syndemics: Opiates, overdoses, HIV, and the hepatitis C virus in a context of ongoing crises
American Journal of Public Health, 110 (2), 176-177. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305487. PMCID: PMC6951383.

Dr. Aponte-Meléndez' Google Scholar Profile
Selected Press