Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

ZS works to fight HIV and AIDS

By Kailah Peters

Dec. 5, 2022 | Article |

ZS works to fight HIV and AIDS

Our ability to turn passions into meaningful change is what drives ZSers. By partnering with life sciences companies around the world, we can have a positive influence on diverse, global communities as we work together to improve health outcomes for all. The results of our work are one of the many reasons Tanya Shepley, a principal in San Francisco, has enjoyed working here for nearly five years.

Where passion changes lives

When our people start their journeys at ZS, they are greeted with warm welcomes and introductions to others in the office. During her first week, Tanya shared that she was driving across the country with her dog and wife. It was then that she was greeted by Pride@ZS leader Sarah Jarvis in the San Francisco office. This introduction was a significant turning point in Tanya’s involvement at ZS and experience with the LGBTQ+ community.

“I immediately set out on my journey as part of our Pride community,” Tanya recalls. “Despite working with clients in the HIV space prior to joining ZS, I had never really participated much with my LGBTQIA+ community. For me, it has been an evolutionary and educational journey. I’m learning so much more about the diversity within my own community and what our ZSers need. Over time, I found myself taking on more responsibilities.”


Now, Tanya is transitioning to become the global lead of Pride@ZS. This partnership has greatly benefitted from her work with the digital and connected health team, where she focuses on patient engagement and services.


“I have previous experience on the creative agency side, working in the life sciences industry and helping clients engage patients through their go-to-market plans and creative campaigns,” says Tanya. “Now at ZS, I get the benefit of engaging with clients earlier in that conversation. I love helping them bring our data acumen and strategic planning to the table.”


Her connection with Pride@ZS in particular helps with her work in the HIV space. “As a part of the community, I have a personal passion to want to end the HIV spread and fight the stigma associated with it. I’ve had the opportunity to do research with patients and providers, to hear their stories and understand the personal side of this disease.”


ZS has a long history of working with clients in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Since the early days of single-tablet regiments, we have been helping clients understand and gain deeper insights into the needs of patients and physicians. Treatments have evolved dramatically. Pharma has developed various formulations, and we are now moving into long-acting injectables. This has changed the way we partner with clients, shifting our focus to new treatments and challenging preconceived notions.


“Now the question is, can we get it suppressed enough that we stop transmission,” Tanya says. Doing this will require a better understanding of patient needs, human behavior and the divide in care.


Like all work, this treatment area is constantly evolving. There is a new rise of HIV infections among heterosexual men in the UK, pointing to a disproportionate balance of where infections are occurring. ZS is partnering with clients to understand how to help the community get the most from outcomes, combat social stigma, diminish divides in care and end the epidemic.


“This work is one of the obvious benefits of the life sciences industry. There’s so much awareness brought during Pride Month and World AIDS Day, but at ZS, we are working to fight HIV and AIDS year-round through the work that we do with clients,” Tanya says.


To find your passion and join ZS in the fight against HIV and AIDS, explore our open roles.

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