Sarah Finocchario Kessler, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Family Medicine

Ph.D., John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2009
Postdoctoral, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2010-2011
Postdoctoral, University of Kansas Medical Center, 2011-2012

Her current research combines interests in reproductive health and HIV by exploring childbearing intentions among people living with HIV,  HIV-provider communication about reproductive options, and options for safer conception among serodiscordant couples. She is exploring these issues among HIV-infected women and men in the U.S.(Baltimore), Brazil and Uganda where in collaboration with colleagues, she has documented a similar unmet need for comprehensive reproductive counseling to reduce transmission risks to partners and infants while helping individuals more safely realize their childbearing goals. Dr. Finocchario Kessler plans to work with KUMC fertility specialists to explore similar outcomes among couples receiving preconception counseling in the context of infertility, cancer or other chronic illnesses. Dr. Finocchario Kessler also works in Kenya and Malawi to pilot an intervention designed to improve Early Infant Diagnosis services for HIV-exposed newborns. The primary outcomes of this research include increased retention in care and early initiation of treatment among infants diagnoses HIV-positive.

Selected Publications

Finocchario-Kessler S, Sweat MD, Dariotis JK, Kerrigan DL, Keller JM, Trent ME, Anderson JR. Understanding high fertility desires and intentions among a sample of urban women living with HIV in the United States. AIDS and Behavior 2010 Oct;14(5):1106-14.

Finocchario-Kessler S, Dariotis J, Sweat M, Trent M, Keller J, Hafeez Q, Anderson J. Do HIV-infected women want to discuss reproductive plans with providers; and are those conversations occurring? AIDS Patient Care and STDs. 2010;24(5):317-323.

Finocchario-Kessler S, Catley D, Berkley-Patton J, Gerkovich M, Williams K, Banderas J, Goggin K. Baseline predictors of 90% of higher antiretroviral therapy adherence in a diverse urban sample: The role of patient autonomy and fatalistic religious beliefs. AIDS Patient Care and STDS. 2011;5(2):103-111.

Finocchario-Kessler S, Bastos FI, Malta M, Anderson J, Goggin K, Sweat M, Dariotis J, Bertoni N, Kerrigan D. Discussing Childbearing with HIV-infected Women of Reproductive Age in Clinical Care: A Comparison of Brazil and the US. AIDS and Behavior. 2012 Jan;16(1):99-107.

Finocchario-Kessler S, Sweat M, Anderson J, Dariotis J, Jennings J, Keller J, Vyas A, Trent M. Childbearing Motivations, Pregnancy Desires, and Perceived Partner Response to Pregnancy Among Urban Female Youth; Does HIV Serostatus Make a Difference? AIDS Care 2012;24(1):1-11.

Finocchario-Kessler S, Catley D, Thompson N, Bradley-Ewing A, Berkley-Patton J, Goggin K. Patient Communication Tools to Enhance ART Adherence Counseling in Low and High Resource Settings. Patient Education and Counseling. 2012 May 8.

Finocchario-Kessler, S, Mabachi, N, Dariotis, JK, Anderson, J, Goggin, K, Sweat, M. "We weren't using condoms because we were trying to conceive": The need for reproductive counseling for HIV+ women in clinical care.  AIDS Patient Care and STDs. (in press, Nov 2012 issue).

Last modified: Feb 24, 2014


Sarah Finocchario Kessler, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Adjunct Assistant Professor