Hector Peguero, B.S., MPH

RESEARCH FOCI: Global Health, Sexual Minorities, Gender Based Violence, Sexual Risk

Hector will be starting the Applied Social & Cultural Psychology doctoral program in Fall 2022. His major professor is Dr. Dionne Stephens.

Hector's research centers global health and identity development among gender diverse individuals. He seeks to identify common points of intervention for addressing stigma, empowerment and health education inequities. For more information about his research, please email Hector directly.

View Hector's Digital Research Portfolio

About Hector

Hector was a 2017 Global Health Study Abroad (GHSA) Research Fellow and HDCI RA prior to graduating with an undergraduate degree in Psychology in December 2017. His GHSA project and Honors Thesis examined Hijra's perceptions of HIV and other sexual health outcomes.

After graduation, Hector was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship to continue this research, and completed this year long study in India. Upon completion of this fellowship, Hector decided to explore the field of Public Health and was accepted by the Robert Stempel College of Public Health where he completed a Master’s in Health Promotion and Diseases Prevention. For his Master’s practicum, his project was focused on the LatinE transgender and gender diverse well-being and how social determinants of health affected this individuals during COVID.

Hector's Research Foci

Hector’s research examines health Inequalities in a global context focusing on the LGBTQIA+ community and their wellbeing. He is interested in understanding the community social determinants of health. The information provided by Hector’s research will enable him to address stigma, violence, physical and mental health in marginalized populations globally. With an ultimate goal of establishing innovative programs centering LGBTQIA+ communities' wellbeing, Hector’s research agenda prioritizes the creation of safe spaces through rigorous mixed methods, and action science foci.

Hector’s master's research examines mental, physical, and emotional health perceptions across gender diverse LatinE emerging adults in South Florida. This study will increase understandings of health inequities in this population, particularly COVID related concerns.

Hector's Honors & Awards

CASE Distinguished Doctoral Student Fellowship (2022- 2025)
FIU College of Arts, Sciences & Education Dean's Office

LGBTQA Researcher of the Year (2020)
LGBTQA Initiatives- FIU Division of Academic & Student Affairs

Fulbright Student Scholar Fellowship (2018- 2019)
United States Department of The State

Global Health Study Abroad Research Fellowship (2017)
FIU Department of Pyschology

FIU Study Abroad Scholarship (2017)
FIU Office of Study Abroad

Outstanding Global Research Photograph Award (2017)
FIU Office of Study Abroad

Hector's Fulbright Video

Hector's Recent Work


Peguero, H., Stephens, D. P., Placek, C., & Madhivanan, P. (2018)."Even an HIV infected person can live 100 years”: Perceptions of HIV among Hijras in Mysore, India. Journal of Global Health.


Peguero, H. , Dowdell, A. &  Stephens, D. P. (2023, June). Well-Being Experiences of LatinE Transgender and Gender-Diverse people in South Florida. Presentation at PREACH- LGBTQ Psychology Canada Conference, Toronto, Canada 

Peguero, H. (2023, June). Integrating Cultura and Familia: Negotiating LatinE Gender Diversity in Miami. Symposium presentation in Ay que Rico: Exploring LatinX Sexual Health in Miami. Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Conference. Denver, CO.

Peguero, H. (2019, February). Identifying Sexual Health Perceptions and Social Networks Needs of Hijras in Mysore. Invited Presentation for the Fulbright Fellowship Scholars Program, Kochi, India.

Peguero, H. (2019, January). “Even an HIV infected person can live 100 years”: Perceptions of HIV among Hijras in Mysore, India. Invited Presentation for SBRR Mahajana College, Mysore, India    

Peguero, H. (2019, January). Examining Hijras’ Mental Health and HIV. Invited Presentation for Teresian Women College. Mysore, India

Peguero, H. & Joshi, N. (2018, October). LGBTQ Community, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and Post- Exposure Prophylaxis. Invited Presentation for the Public Health Research Institute of India, Mysore, India         

Peguero, H. & Stephens, D. P., Madhivanan, P. (2017, October). “Even an HIV infected person can live 100 years”: Perceptions of HIV among Hijras in Mysore, India. Poster presentation for the FIU Ronald E. McNair Conference, Miami, FL.

Peguero, H. (2017, June). Self-Stigma and HIV Knowledge. Invited Presentation for the Public Health Research Institute of India. Mysore, India.

Hectors's Research Projects

To view research projects that Hector has taken a leadership role in developing and/ or implementing, please visit our Current Research and Completed Research study pages.

Current Research
Hijras' Perceptions of GBV & Sexual Health Stigmas

Using qualitative methods, the perceptions that Hijras in Mysore, India held regarding gender based violence, stigma and sexual health were examined. This study was funded by the Fulbright Student Research Program of the United States


Gender diverse LatinE emerging adults in South Florida were interviewed to gather the meanings they give to health, particularly during Covid. Attention was paid to the intersecting influence of Hispanic cultural values and gender norm expectations on health trajectories during this phase of the lifespan