Lauren Perez-Bonilla

Graduate Student, Latino/a and Latin American Studies, El Instituto (Affiliate)

Research Overview

During my undergraduate career at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus (UPR-RP) I had the opportunity to develop -alongside my research partner Desiree Marquez Rodriguez- a research proposal about the impact of HIV/AIDS in young Puerto Rican women living on the metropolitan area of the Island. This project helped me see that this is still an issue affecting people’s lives directly (carrying the virus) and indirectly (family members, partners, etc.). This is also be applicable to other Caribbean islands; like the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba, and others. There might be different variables that make the HIV/AIDS prevalence in each of these Islands a modern day problem, hence, an inter and multidisciplinary focus is needed. Therefore, my research interests focuses on sex tourism, MSM, and HIV/AIDS in Caribbean populations. As a first year graduate student at El Instituto, I learned that inter and multidisciplinary approaches to particular issues make them relatable to a wider audience. Hence, by becoming a Graduate Student affiliate at InCHIP, I will be able to accomplish this for my master thesis topic -HIV/AIDS on Dominican Sex Workers who practice MSM- with the guidance of InCHIP’s faculty members, such as Doctor Merrill Singer and Lisa Eaton.


B.A. in Social Sciences (transfer program) Aug. 2010 – May 2011 at University of Puerto Rico, Arecibo (UPR-A)
B.A. in Social Sciences with an emphasis in Social Research Methods & Techniques, minor in International Relations Aug. 2011 – May 2015 (magna cum laude) at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus (UPR-RP)

Contact Information
Mailing AddressEl Instituto
928 Storrs Rd.
Storrs Mansfield, CT 06268