Dr Sima Berendes

Research Fellow

Clinical Trials Unit

Keppel Street
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 20 7958 8161

Sima Berendes joined the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health in 2019. As a member of the Intervention Design and Evaluation Group she supported the work on the Safetxt trial, an NIHR-funded trial of a safer sex intervention delivered by mobile phone. She also co-organised a series of pan-European and local webinars by the Vaccine Confidence Project. Most recently, Sima has been principal investigator of the VIP-IDEAL study, a qualitative study on vaccination in pregnancy, funded by a Wellcome ISSF pump priming grant. Since 2023, Sima has been working in the Clinical Trials Unit Global Health Trials Group in the area of emergency care and maternal health.

Sima has a medical and public health background with more than ten years of clinical, research, teaching, and charitable work experience in Germany, France, the US, UK, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Libya and other African countries.

After obtaining her medical research doctorate at the University of Freiburg in Germany and her MPH degree at Johns Hopkins University in the USA, Sima worked for two years as a study physician and coordinator of HIV/AIDS-related clinical trials at the College of Medicine/ Johns Hopkins University Research project in Blantyre in Malawi.

She then moved to the UK, where she joined the International Public Health Department at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM). At LSTM her research included identifying evidence for the comparative quality of private versus public health care and the effectiveness of strategies to improve the quality of care in low- and middle-income countries. Sima was also involved in an EU-funded project to support the Ministry of Health in Libya to develop its first National HIV/AIDS strategy. This included the conduct of biological and behavioural surveillance surveys among key populations in Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya, using the method of respondent-driven sampling. Sima contributed to research using lot-quality assurance sampling to assess the coverage and quality of health care services by different providers at national and sub-national levels in Nigeria, Uganda and South-Sudan.

Prior to joining LSHTM, Sima also supported the development of a distance learning course in Global Health at Imperial College London, and assisted SESH Global (Social Entrepreneurship to Spur Health) in the conduct of a systematic review and linked Crowdsourcing For Health project on decentralised diagnostic testing for infectious diseases.


Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health
Department of Population Health


Centre for Maternal Adolescent Reproductive & Child Health (MARCH)


Basic Epidemiology

Global Dimensions of Sexual and Reproductive Health


As described above

Research Area
Child health
Clinical trials
Health inequalities
Health services research
Health systems
Maternal health
Primary care
Public health
Sexual health
Systematic reviews
Adolescent health
Behaviour change
Global Health
Mixed methods
Randomised controlled trials
Reproductive health
Development studies
Social Sciences
Disease and Health Conditions
Infectious disease
Sexually transmitted infection

Selected Publications

\"Figuring stuff out myself\" - a qualitative study on maternal vaccination in socially and ethnically diverse areas in England.
Berendes S; Mounier-Jack S; Ojo-Aromokudu O; Ivory A; Tucker JD; Larson HJ; Free C
BMC public health
Behavioural intervention to reduce sexually transmitted infections in people aged 16–24 years in the UK: the safetxt RCT
Free C; Palmer MJ; Potter K; McCarthy OL; Jerome L; Berendes S; Gubijev A; Knight M; Jamal Z; Dhaliwal F
Public health research
Effectiveness of a behavioural intervention delivered by text messages (safetxt) on sexually transmitted reinfections in people aged 16-24 years: randomised controlled trial.
Free C; Palmer MJ; McCarthy OL; Jerome L; Berendes S; Knight M; Carpenter JR; Morris TP; Jamal Z; Dhaliwal F
Building Healthcare Professionals' confidence in COVID-19 vaccination: A series of pan-European and local webinars facilitating peer-to-peer communication
Larson H; Karafillakis E; Berendes S; Alasmari A; Bolio A; Alasmari A
A systematic review of randomised controlled trials of the effects of digital health interventions on postpartum contraception use.
Sze YY; Berendes S; Russel S; Bellam L; Smith C; Cameron S; Free CJ
BMJ sexual & reproductive health
Sexual health interventions delivered to participants by mobile technology: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.
Berendes S; Gubijev A; McCarthy OL; Palmer MJ; Wilson E; Free C
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Diagnostic Infectious Diseases Testing Outside Clinics: A Global Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.
Kpokiri EE; Marley G; Tang W; Fongwen N; Wu D; Berendes S; Ambil B; Loveday S-J; Sampath R; Walker JS
Open forum infectious diseases
Is development aid to strengthen health systems during protracted conflict a useful investment? The case of South Sudan, 2011-2015.
Valadez JJ; Berendes S; Odhiambo J; Vargas W; Devkota B; Lako R; Jeffery C
Inflammation and micronutrient biomarkers predict clinical HIV treatment failure and incident active TB in HIV-infected adults: a case-control study.
Shivakoti R; Gupte N; Tripathy S; Poongulali S; Kanyama C; Berendes S; Cardoso SW; Santos BR; La Rosa A; Mwelase N
Continued Elevation of Interleukin-18 and Interferon-γ After Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy and Clinical Failure in a Diverse Multicountry Human Immunodeficiency Virus Cohort.
Balagopal A; Gupte N; Shivakoti R; Cox AL; Yang W-T; Berendes S; Mwelase N; Kanyama C; Pillay S; Samaneka W
Persistently Elevated C-Reactive Protein Level in the First Year of Antiretroviral Therapy, Despite Virologic Suppression, Is Associated With HIV Disease Progression in Resource-Constrained Settings.
Shivakoti R; Yang W-T; Berendes S; Mwelase N; Kanyama C; Pillay S; Samaneka W; Santos B; Poongulali S; Tripathy S
The Journal of infectious diseases
Concurrent Anemia and Elevated C-Reactive Protein Predicts HIV Clinical Treatment Failure, Including Tuberculosis, After Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation.
Shivakoti R; Yang W-T; Gupte N; Berendes S; Rosa AL; Cardoso SW; Mwelase N; Kanyama C; Pillay S; Samaneka W
Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
Finding the gap: revealing local disparities in coverage of maternal, newborn and child health services in South Sudan using lot quality assurance sampling.
Valadez JJ; Berendes S; Lako R; Gould S; Vargas W; Milner S
Tropical medicine & international health : TM & IH
Assessing the quality of care in a new nation: South Sudan's first national health facility assessment.
Berendes S; Lako RL; Whitson D; Gould S; Valadez JJ
Tropical medicine & international health : TM & IH
New evidence on the HIV epidemic in Libya: why countries must implement prevention programs among people who inject drugs.
Mirzoyan L; Berendes S; Jeffery C; Thomson J; Ben Othman H; Danon L; Turki AA; Saffialden R; Valadez JJ
Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)
Filling the Knowledge Gap: Measuring HIV Prevalence and Risk Factors among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Female Sex Workers in Tripoli, Libya.
Valadez JJ; Berendes S; Jeffery C; Thomson J; Ben Othman H; Danon L; Turki AA; Saffialden R; Mirzoyan L
P3.100 Filling the Knowledge Gap: Measuring HIV Prevalence and Risk Factors Among Populations Most Vulnerable to HIV in Libya
Valadez JJ; Berendes S; Jeffery C; Thomson J; Othman HB; Moxon S; Danon L; Turki AA; Saffialden R; Mirzoyan L
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Efficacy and safety of three antiretroviral regimens for initial treatment of HIV-1: a randomized clinical trial in diverse multinational settings.
Campbell TB; Smeaton LM; Kumarasamy N; Flanigan T; Klingman KL; Firnhaber C; Grinsztejn B; Hosseinipour MC; Kumwenda J; Lalloo U
PLoS medicine
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