David Ray Garcia


David Garcia headshot

David Ray Garcia


Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow

1 212 992 7197

David Ray Garcia's additional information

David Ray Garcia, (He/Him/His) is a provost’s postdoctoral fellow and assistant professor at NYU Meyers College of Nursing. Garcia is originally from McAllen, Texas, a city on the Southern US-Mexico border that is predominantly Latino, medically underserved, and increasingly burdened by the HIV epidemic. His interdisciplinary research focuses on the syndemic relationships between substance use, violence, mental health, and HIV risk behaviors among adolescent gay and bisexual men, and the protective factors that mitigate HIV risk.

Among his many honors, Garcia received the Outstanding Dissertation Award (2022) for his PhD dissertation entitled Syndemic Predictors of HIV Risk Behaviors Among Adolescent Gay and Bisexual Men: A Secondary Data Analysis of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey Years 2015-2019. The integrative review conducted for his dissertation has been published ahead of print in the journal Nursing Research.

As a postdoctoral fellow, Garcia works as a research assistant on the NIH-funded clinical trial Adherence Connection for Counseling, Education, and Support (ACCESS) II (PI: Navarra), which examines the contextual factors of the peer participant relationship among young people of color living with HIV. He is also focusing on grant development for an intervention that aims to decrease HIV testing hesitancy among young Black and Latino gay and bisexual men.

Prior to joining the faculty as a postdoctoral fellow and assistant professor at NYU Meyers in 2022, Garcia was an adjunct clinical instructor for the Master of Science program and has also mentored numerous undergraduate nursing students in the Bachelor of Science program. Garcia is a double board-certified family nurse practitioner and previously held a clinical position at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the Men’s Sexual Health and Reproductive Medicine Program treating sexual and hormonal dysfunction in men surviving cancer.

PhD, New York University
Post-Master’s Advanced Certificate, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health, Education, and Social Service, New York University
MS, New York University
BSN, Texas Tech University
BS, University of Texas Pan American

American Association of Nurse Practitioners
American Nurses Association
American Nurses Association of New York
Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
Eastern Nursing Research Society
Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality
Sexual Medicine Society of North America

Faculty Honors Awards

Outstanding Dissertation, New York University Meyers College of Nursing (2022)
Jonas Psychiatric and Mental Health Scholar, Jonas Foundation (2017)


HIV Syndemic Factor Associations Among Adolescent Gay and Bisexual Men in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2015-2019: A Secondary Data Analysis

Garcia, D. R., Fletcher, J., Goldsamt, L., Bell, D. L., Zheng, Y., & Dunn Navarra, A.-M. (2023). The Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care : JANAC, 34(5), 440-458. 10.1097/JNC.0000000000000423
This analysis of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey examined HIV syndemic factor associations (substance use, violence, mental health, and HIV risk behaviors) among adolescent gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men-a population with the highest prevalence of undiagnosed HIV infections. The representative sample ( n = 644) exhibited low condom use (52%) and HIV testing (21%). Adjusted multivariate logistic regression models showed that Blacks were less likely to report HIV testing (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.06, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.01-0.44], p < .01), whereas Hispanics were more likely to report four or more lifetime sexual partners (aOR = 3.75, 95% CI [1.49-9.44], p < .01), compared with Whites. A syndemic of substance use and intimate partner violence (sexual, sexual dating, and/or physical dating violence) was associated with early intercourse, multiple sexual partners, and drugs/alcohol before intercourse. Multiple syndemic factor exposures were associated with additive risk, suggesting multilevel approaches for HIV prevention.

Integrative Review of Methods From Youth Risk Behavior Survey Secondary Data Analyses Examining HIV Syndemic Factors Among Adolescent Gay and Bisexual Men

Garcia, D. R., Fletcher, J., Goldsamt, L., & Dunn Navarra, A. M. (2023). Nursing Research, 72(2), 141-149. 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000632
Background Adolescent gay/bisexual men exhibit the highest prevalence of undiagnosed HIV infections. Ascertaining antecedents of behaviorally acquired HIV infections among adolescent gay/bisexual men can be challenging; however, these challenges can be overcome through the utilization of secondary data, such as the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Objective Syndemics theory suggests that HIV infections are not a singular phenomenon; instead, many infections occur at the intersection of syndemic factors, such as substance use, violence, and mental health. Our objective is to describe and synthesize research methods of secondary data analyses that examine syndemic factors in relation to HIV risk behavior outcomes among subsamples of adolescent gay/bisexual men. Methods Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and PsycInfo were systematically searched. Inclusion criteria were (a) peer-reviewed Youth Risk Behavior Survey secondary data analyses conducted in the United States after 1991, (b) subsamples with adolescent gay/bisexual men, (c) one or more syndemic factor(s), and (d) one or more HIV risk behavior outcome(s). We used the National Institutes of Health Quality Assessment Tools for quality appraisal. Results Of 1,036 citations retrieved, nine studies met inclusion criteria. Results included using logistic regression analysis and data from 2015 to 2017 in six studies and underpinnings with minority stress theory in four studies. Eight studies omitted race/ethnicity in subsamples and six grouped lesbians with adolescent gay/bisexual men. Seven studies examined substance use, six examined violence, and five examined mental health. Condom use and number of partners were the most studied HIV risk behavior outcomes in four studies, whereas intercourse in the last 3 months was an outcome in only one study. Protective factors were not present. Conclusion Limitations found the need to highlight better inclusion of race/ethnicity and sexual orientation. Adding contemporary survey items is also necessary, such as nonbinary sex and gender identity, access to HIV prevention (condoms, HIV testing, and preexposure prophylaxis), and experiences with stigma, to elucidate risk behaviors among populations disproportionately affected by HIV infections, including Blacks/African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos.