Janet M. Turan

Professor of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham

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About Janet

Turan's main research interests are maternal and child health and sexual and reproductive health in low-resource settings of both developing and developed countries. She has used both quantitative and qualitative research methods to examine factors related to the promotion of maternal and child health and sexual and reproductive health in diverse settings including Turkey, Jordan, Italy, Eritrea, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Egypt, and the United States. She is currently conducting research aiming to reduce the adverse effects of HIV on the physical and mental health of women, with a special focus on understanding and reducing HIV-related stigma and discrimination. In addition, her current research program includes the study of stigma as it relates to a variety of reproductive health conditions/services, including unintended pregnancy, abortion, obstetric fistula, and gender-based violence.


In the News

Janet M. Turan's research on HIV in Kenya discussed by Alan Alexander, "UAB Professor Awarded $600K Grant for HIV Study in Africa," Birmingham Business Journal, May 19, 2014.
Janet M. Turan quoted on HIV in mothers and children by Donald Borenstein, "Solidarity and Stigma: The Challenge of Improving Maternal Health for Women Living with HIV" New Security Beat, April 25, 2014.
Janet M. Turan's research on HIV in mothers and children discussed by Donald G. McNeil Jr., "Stigma of HIV is a Barrier to Parental Care," New York Times, August 27, 2012.


"Restrictive Abortion Laws Exacerbate Stigma, Resulting in Harm to Patients and Providers" (with Janet M. Turan). American Journal of Public Health 111, no. 1 (2021): 37-39.

Discusses abortion related stigmas and the psychological harms it creates. Elaborates on stereotypes.

"Travel for Abortion Services in Alabama and Delays in Obtaining Care" (with Kari White and Daniel Grossman). Women’s Health Issues (forthcoming).

Discusses how in 2013, Alabama's five abortion clinics required counseling in person or by mail, followed by a 24-hour waiting period. Examines the relationship between women's geographic access to services and timing of abortion care. Argues that regulations further restricting abortion would create substantial burdens for women and the limited provider network.

"Global Maternal and Child Health Goals Will Not be Achieved without Addressing Stigma and Discrimination" (with Laura Nyblade). Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 64, no. 1 (September 2013): e9-e10.

Discusses the fact that it is unlikely that the global commitments to virtual elimination of new HIV infections in children and reduced HIV-related maternal mortality by 2015 will be met unless major efforts at the global, national, community, and facility levels are made to identify and counter the multiple manifestations of HIV-related stigma facing pregnant women.

"Intimate Partner Violence and Forced Migration during Pregnancy: Structural Constraints to Women’s Agency" (with Abigail H. Hatcher, Patrizia Romito, Emily Mangone, Modupeoluwa Durojaiye, and and Merab Odero). Global Public Health 11 (2016): 153-168.

Explores conceptions of women’s “agency”  within the phenomenon of women’s migration and violence during pregnancy, in a setting in Kenya with structural constraints including severe poverty, gender inequality and stigma.

"The Role of HIV-Related Stigma in Utilization of Skilled Childbirth Services in Rural Kenya: A Prospective Mixed-Methods Study" (with Abigail H. Hatcher, José Medema-Wijnveen, Maricianah Onono, Suellen Miller, Elizabeth A. Bukusi, Bulent Turan, and and Craig R. Cohen). PLoS Medicine 9, no. 8 (August 2012): e1001295.

Uses a prospective mixed-methods study design in rural Kenya to examine the role of women’s perceptions of HIV-related stigma during pregnancy in their subsequent utilization of maternity services.

"The Role of Norms and Stigma in Reproductive Decision-Making around Unintended Pregnancy in Alabama: A Qualitative Study" (with Whitney Dan Smith, Kari White, Kristi L. Stringer, Anna Helova, Tina Simpson, and and Kate Cockrill). Perspectives in Sexual and Reproductive Health (forthcoming).

Explores the roles of stigmas around unintended pregnancy, adoption, abortion, and keeping the baby in reproductive decision-making for young women in Birmingham, Alabama.

"Structural Community Factors and Sub-Optimal Engagement in HIV Care among Low-Income Women in the Deep South of the USA" (with Melonie Walcott and Mirjam Kempf and Jessica Merlin). Culture Health & Sexuality 1, no. 55 (2015).

Describes the ways in which poverty and other structural factors create a risk environment for sub-optimal engagement in HIV care among low-income women living with HIV in the Southern USA, contributing to existing health disparities. Argues that interventions designed to improve engagement in HIV care should address structural factors to bolster low-income women's ability to engage in care.