Camilo Ruiz

Assistant Professor



Ph.D., 2021, University of Pittsburgh


Camilo Ruiz is an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut. He is an anthropologist with more than fifteen years of experience in ethnographic and anthropological work in urban contexts in Colombia and the United States. He uses the combined strengths of participatory action research (PAR), anthropology, public health, and the arts to engage in collaborative research with often-overlooked communities. His current work sheds light on the growing opioid epidemic in urban Colombia through the gaze and narratives of impoverished heroin users navigating pleasure, pain, addiction, limited access to opioid replacement therapy, homelessness, and stigma.

Camilo has also conducted extensive research with communities living with HIV/AIDS in Colombia, including heterosexual men, who are the focus of his latest research project in this area. The shape of the HIV epidemic in Colombia has shifted since the 80s and now affects significantly more heterosexual men, which challenges the ways in which the intersection of HIV and masculinities has historically been understood in Latin America. Today, more men with heteronormative behaviors and identities become infected with HIV through heterosexual sex, intravenous drug use, or war events, while others are born with the virus. Camilo’s work reveals the struggles of HIV-positive heterosexual men to find tailored support within stagnant paradigms of care, which often leads them to relapse into AIDS, spread the virus to others, and experience HIV as a terminal rather than chronic disease.

Camilo has also researched the dynamics of Latinx communities settling in new growth communities in the US Midwest. He is expanding this branch of his research into a broader analysis of Latinx settlements in the post-industrial urban landscape of the US Northeast, where impoverished migrants give life to the crumbling cities they call home while transforming them into globalized multicultural spaces. He is now building a participatory action research lab that will serve the city of Hartford, Connecticut, to dig deeper into this phenomenon from a bottom-up, collaborative perspective.

Research Interests

Community-Based Participatory Research, Drugs and Addiction, HIV/AIDS, Latinx Studies


Introduction to Global Health


Journal Articles

2021 Ruiz-Sánchez HC, Macia L, Boyzo R, Documet PI. Community health workers promote perceived social support among Latino men: Respaldo. J Migr Health. 2021;4:100075.

2018 Ruiz Sánchez, Héctor Camilo; Pardo Gaviria, Paulina; De Ferrari, Rosa; Savage, Kirk & Documet, Patricia. OjO Latino: A photovoice project in recognition of the Latino presence in Pittsburgh, PA. Contemporaneity, 7, 53-71.

2018 Abadía Barrero, César Ernesto & Ruiz Sánchez, Héctor Camilo. Enfrentando al neoliberalismo en Colombia: arte y colaboración en un hospital en ruinas [Facing neoliberalism in Colombia: Art and Collaboration in a Hospital in Ruins.] Etnográfica, vol. 22 (3), 575-603.

2016 Macia, Laura; Documet, Patricia, & Ruiz, Héctor Camilo. Promotores’ Perspectives on a Male-to-Male Peer Network. Health Education Research, 1–14.

2012 Abadía, Cesar; Ariza, Katherine; Pinilla, Maria Yaneth & Ruiz, Héctor Camilo. Neoliberalismo en salud: La tortura de trabajadoras y trabajadores del Instituto Materno Infantil de Bogotá [Neoliberal Health: the Torture of the Maternal Health Institute Workers in Bogota.] Revista de Salud Pública, 14, 18-31.

2011 Abadía, César; Ruiz, Héctor Camilo; Ariza, Katherine; Melo, Marco & Pinilla, Maria Yaneth. Algunas violencias del capitalismo en Colombia: dispositivos de tortura y autodestrucción [Examples of Capitalist Violence in Colombia: Elements of Torture and Self-Destruction.] Maguaré 25(1), 203-240.


2010 Ferro, German; Ruiz, Héctor Camilo & Duran, Sandra. Árboles ciudadanos. En la memoria y el paisaje cultural de Bogotá [Citizen Trees in Bogota’s Memory and Cultural Landscape.] IDCP, Bogotá.

2007 Ruiz Sánchez, Héctor Camilo. Dolor crónico, cuerpo y experiencia en la Clínica del Dolor del Seguro Social [Chronic Pain, Body, and Experience in a Public Pain Clinic in Colombia]. Ediciones Uniandes CESO, Bogotá.

Book Chapters

2023 Ruiz Sánchez, Héctor Camilo. La Tatacoa: máquina de tiempo y portal hacia el universo
[Tatacoa: Time Machine and Portal to the Universe.], pp. 92-93. In: Davis, W. et al. (eds) Convivir, Conocer, Conservar. Manual Ilustrado para Guías de Turismo del Río Magdalena. Bogota. Panamericana.

2018 Abadía, César; Ruiz Sánchez, Héctor Camilo & Pinilla, María Yaneth. Etnografía como acción política: articulación del compromiso antropológico a estrategias contra hegemónicas [Political Ethnography: the Use of Anthropology in Counter-Hegemonic Strategies], pp 109-126. In: Trabajo de Campo en América Latina: Experiencias Antropológicas Regionales en Etnografía. R. Guber, C. Eckert, M. Jimeno y E. Krotz, eds. Sb Editorial.

2013 Crane, Emma Shaw and Ruiz, Héctor Camilo. Género, Estado y Terror: Vivencias del VIH [Gender, State, and Horror: Experiences of People Living with HIV.] In Salud, Normalización y Capitalismo en Colombia, pp. 475-506. C. Abadía, M. Melo, C. Platarrueda, and A. Góngora, eds. Bogotá: CES Universidad Nacional, Desde Abajo.

Book Reviews

2021 Ruiz-Sánchez, H. C. Cuando la enfermedad se silencia. Sida y toxicidad en el oriente Boliviano [When the Disease is Silenced. AIDS and Toxicity in Eastern Bolivia.] by Susana Ramírez Hita. Ciencia Digna, 2(1), 150–151.

2015 Ruiz, Héctor Camilo. Modern Colonization by Medical Intervention: U.S. Medicine in Puerto Rico by Nicole Trujillo-Pagan. International Sociology, 30(5), 467–469.


2019 Cottage Health, Population Health 2019. Cottage Health Community Health Needs Assessment
Report. Santa Barbara, CA. The University of Pittsburgh.

2008 Factores de vulnerabilidad a la infección por VIH en mujeres en Colombia [Women’s Vulnerability to HIV infection in Colombia.]. UNFPA & Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

2007 Derechos de los niños, niñas y adolescentes afectados el VIH y el SIDA en Colombia [HIV-Positive Children and Youth’s Rights in Colombia.] Bogotá, Colombia. UNICEF, Save the
Children, Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar, Grupo de Antropología Medica Critica UNAL Col.

Public and Engaged Scholarship

2023 Casa Común/Communal House: A Collective Art Piece from Victims of the Armed
Conflict in Colombia.

2022 Sonic Futures.

2021 Energy Burden in Hartford, CT

2021 The Frog Hollow People’s Oral History Project | Proyecto de Historia Oral y Popular de Frog Hollow.

2021 Interview with Alex Fattal on his book: Shooting Cameras for Peace.

2020 Disrespecting the Border | Irrespetando la Frontera.

2016 OjO Latino Pittsburgh. Photovoice Project with the Latino community in Pittsburgh, PA.

2012 Abadía, Cesar; Crane, Emma & Ruiz, Héctor Camilo. Defending the right to health in Colombia. NACLA Report on the Americas, 45(2), 70-74.

2012 Photo-journalism. Dignidad y Salud en Colombia.

2010 Documentary. Bicentenario de la salud en Colombia: Silenciando patrimonios y derechos Photo-journalism

Camilo Ruiz
Contact Information
Office LocationBeach Hall (BCH) 433
LinkGoogle Scholar