Dr Elizabeth Fearon


Assistant Professor
of Epidemiology


15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

020 7927 2877

I work in sexual health and HIV prevention and care, on projects aiming to understand how to improve health promotion programmes for female sex workers, gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM), and adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa. Under this aim, I have particular interests in network analysis, quantitative approaches to understanding social determinants of health, intervention research, and methods for working with hard-to-reach and stigmatised populations including respondent driven sampling, programme evaluation and population size estimation.


Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Public Health, Environments and Society


Centre for Evaluation
Statistical Methodology


I co-organise the Epidemiology and Control of Communicable Diseases MSc module. I have taught on the Statistical Methods in Epidemiology and Population Health, Foundations of Health Promotion, Evaluations of Public Health Interventions and the Social Epidemiology MSc modules and am a tutor for MSc Public Health.


I work in partnership with the Centre for Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS (CESHHAR) Zimbabwe on a variety of projects aiming to characterise HIV epidemiology, access to prevention, and care among female sex workers in Zimbabwe. I am the LSHTM’s liason to the Key Populations Working Group of the Measurement and Surveillance of HIV (MeSH) Consortium and lead the HIV Prevention Frameworks work package, and am also engaged in assessing peer network sampling strategies, using routinely collected programme data sources, methods to estimate population size and estimate extrapolation methodologies.

I am a Co-Investigator on the TRANSFORM study with Sigma Research, the Wits Reproductive Health Institute, Partners for Health and Development in Africa and the University of Manitoba. We aim to understand the HIV prevention needs of gay men and MSM in Johannesburg and Nairobi. This project was informed by our initial work with the International HIV/AIDS Alliance to map out initiatives in HIV prevention and rights for gay men and MSM in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe and appraise their SHARP programme.

 I have a particular interest in social network analysis, and my PhD research examined how friendship networks of young women in rural South Africa might influence their HIV risk, via connections to sexual partners and normative influence on sexual behaviours. Social networks are also important to health promotion among socially marginalised and stigmatised groups, and in common research methods leveraging peer relationships for recruitment, such as Respondent Driven Sampling.

Research Area
Sexual health
Social and structural determinants of health
Statistical methods
Adolescent health
Impact evaluation
Implementation research
Disease and Health Conditions
Sexually transmitted infection
South Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)

Selected Publications

The HIV care cascade among female sex workers in Zimbabwe: results of a population-based survey from the Sisters Antiretroviral therapy Programme for Prevention of HIV, an Integrated Response (SAPPH-IRe) Trial.
Cowan, F.M. ; Davey, C.B. ; Fearon, E. ; Mushati, P. ; Dirawo, J. ; Cambiano, V. ; Napierala Mavedzenge, S. ; Hanisch, D. ; Wong-Gruenwald, R. ; Chemhuru, M. ; Masuka, N. ; Hatzold, K. ; Mugurungi, O. ; Busza, J. ; Philips, A.N. ; Hargreaves, J.R. ;
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr
Sample Size Calculations for Population Size Estimation Studies Using Multiplier Methods With Respondent-Driven Sampling Surveys.
Fearon, E. ; Chabata, S.T. ; Thompson, J.A. ; Cowan, F.M. ; Hargreaves, J.R. ;
JMIR Public Health Surveill
Associations between friendship characteristics and HIV and HSV-2 status amongst young South African women in HPTN-068.
Fearon, E. ; Wiggins, R.D. ; Pettifor, A.E. ; MacPhail, C. ; Kahn, K. ; Selin, A. ; Gómez-Olivé, F.X. ; Delany-Moretlwe, S. ; Piwowar-Manning, E. ; Laeyendecker, O. ; Hargreaves, J.R. ;
J Int AIDS Soc
Trends in Socioeconomic Inequalities in HIV Prevalence among Young People in Seven Countries in Eastern and Southern Africa.
Hargreaves, J.R. ; Davey, C. ; Fearon, E. ; Hensen, B. ; Krishnaratne, S. ;
PLoS One
Is the sexual behaviour of young people in sub-Saharan Africa influenced by their peers? A systematic review.
Fearon, E. ; Wiggins, R.D. ; Pettifor, A.E. ; Hargreaves, J.R. ;
Soc Sci Med
Engagement with HIV prevention treatment and care among female sex workers in Zimbabwe: a respondent driven sampling survey.
Cowan, F.M. ; Mtetwa, S. ; Davey, C. ; Fearon, E. ; Dirawo, J. ; Wong-Gruenwald, R. ; Ndikudze, T. ; Chidiya, S. ; Benedikt, C. ; Busza, J. ; Hargreaves, J.R. ;
PLoS One
See all Dr Elizabeth Fearon's Publications