John Blevins is part of the faculty in the Hubert Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health and is the Acting Director of the Interfaith Health Program (IHP). Prior to joining the Global Health faculty, he worked as a chaplain to persons with HIV/AIDS in Atlanta and Chicago; coordinated patient education services for people living with HIV/AIDS in Atlanta's public health system; managed a clinical training program on HIV, mental illness, and drug use in the Emory University School of Medicine; and served on the faculty of the Candler School of Theology at Emory. Blevins has served as a consultant for the Emory School of Medicine in the fields of mental health, substance abuse, and HIV; in that capacity he provided clinical education to practitioners in various HIV public health programs around the southeastern United States.
Blevins brings interdisciplinary scholarship and practice into the study of religion and public health. He currently holds a secondary appointment in the Graduate Division of Religion in Emory's Laney Graduate School and serves on the Executive Committee of Emory's Religion and Public Health Collaborative. Currently, Blevins coordinates IHP's activities to build partnerships with religious leaders and faith-based organizations to address HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. This work is funded through the CDC's Division of Global HIV/AIDS and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). These activities focus on community-level HIV prevention initiatives in eastern and southern Africa that recognize the formative role of religious practice and religious institutions in shaping community norms that have a direct impact on HIV risk. Such efforts seek to mobilize religion as a positive force in public health initiatives. However, he recognizes that religion does not always function as a positive force and he and his IHP colleagues also examine tensions between religion and public health, particularly in regard to HIV prevention, sexual and reproductive health, and LGBT health.
In addition to his work in global HIV/AIDS, Blevins is the Director of Social-Behavioral Science for the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) Network.