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headshot of Leo Wilton

Leo Wilton


CCPA Human Development


Leo Wilton has research expertise in the areas of health disparities and inequities (primary and secondary HIV prevention); community-based research and evaluation; mixed- and multi-methods research; and black psychological development and mental health. His scholarly research on the AIDS epidemic focuses on the intersectionality of race, gender and sexuality, as situated in macro- and micro-level inequities in black communities, both nationally and internationally. His research engages the complexities of how socio-structural and –cultural contexts influence people's development and well-being within African and African diasporic communities, with specific implications for addressing social justice and human rights. In this context, the overall objective of his scholarly research program has been to focus on socio-structural/-cultural factors that influence sexual/drug-risk and protective behavior and mental health for black men who have sex with men (MSM). His research interests examine socio-cultural factors that provide the basis for the development of culturally grounded HIV prevention interventions for black MSM.

Wilton was appointed to and served on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's Council of Public Representatives. He was invited as part of a select group of nationally recognized experts to participate in a research meeting at the White House by the Office of National AIDS Policy that addressed the state of the AIDS epidemic among black men in the U.S. He is a founding member and former chair of the board of directors of the Black Gay Research Group, an international organization engaged in interdisciplinary and intersectional research in the fields of public health, psychology, African diaspora studies, gender studies and sexuality studies that works to address the substantial HIV-related health inequities in black same-gender practicing men's communities.

Wilton had a Postdoctoral research fellowship at University of Michigan, Empirical Summer Program in Multi-Ethnic Research and New York University, Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training. Wilton's Predoctoral clinical psychology fellowship was at Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry (APA accredited program).


  • BA, Binghamton University
  • MA, PhD, New York University
  • MPH, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Research Interests

  • Health disparities (HIV and AIDS)
  • community based research and evaluation
  • black psychological development and mental health


  • Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities
  • American Psychological Association, Division 44, Distinguished Contributions to Ethnic Minority Issues