Dr Elizabeth Fearon


Assistant Professor
of Epidemiology


15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

020 7927 2877

I am an epidemiologist and MRC Strategic Skills Development Fellow working to understand transmission dynamics and access to HIV prevention and care among gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM), female sex workers, and adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa. I have particular interests in network analysis, mathematical modelling, social determinants of health, intervention research, and methods for research among hard-to-reach and stigmatised populations.


Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Department of Global Health and Development


Centre for Evaluation
Centre for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases (CMMID)
Centre for Statistical Methodology


I co-organise the Epidemiology and Control of Communicable Diseases MSc module and teach on Basic Statistics. 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 am now working to understand the characteristics of sexual partnership networks and their role in HIV transmission dynamics among gay men and other men who have sex with men in Nairobi and Johannesburg. This work came out of the TRANSFORM study with Sigma Research, the Wits Reproductive Health Institute, and Partners for Health and Development in Africa, and aimed to understand the HIV prevention needs of MSM in these settings. TRANSFORM was in turn 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 also been working 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 was a member of the Measurement and Surveillance of HIV (MeSH) Consortium and was engaged in applying new HIV prevention monitoring frameworks, using and assessing respondent driven sampling, and methods to estimate and extrapolate population size.

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.

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

Estimating the Population Size of Female Sex Workers in Zimbabwe: Comparison of Estimates Obtained Using Different Methods in Twenty Sites and Development of a National-Level Estimate.
Fearon E; Chabata ST; Magutshwa S; Ndori-Mharadze T; Musemburi S; Chidawanyika H; Masendeke A; Napierala S; Gonese E; Herman Roloff A
Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)
How Can Programs Better Support Female Sex Workers to Avoid HIV Infection in Zimbabwe? A Prevention Cascade Analysis.
Fearon E; Phillips A; Mtetwa S; Chabata ST; Mushati P; Cambiano V; Busza J; Napierala S; Hensen B; Baral S
Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)
Friendships Among Young South African Women, Sexual Behaviours and Connections to Sexual Partners (HPTN 068).
Fearon E; Wiggins RD; Pettifor AE; MacPhail C; Kahn K; Selin A; Gómez-Olivé FX; Hargreaves JR
AIDS and behavior
Targeted combination prevention to support female sex workers in Zimbabwe accessing and adhering to antiretrovirals for treatment and prevention of HIV (SAPPH-IRe): a cluster-randomised trial.
Cowan FM; Davey C; Fearon E; Mushati P; Dirawo J; Chabata S; Cambiano V; Napierala S; Hanisch D; Wong-Gruenwald R
The lancet HIV
Estimating Sizes of Key Populations at the National Level: Considerations for Study Design and Analysis.
Edwards JK; Hileman S; Donastorg Y; Zadrozny S; Baral S; Hargreaves JR; Fearon E; Zhao J; Datta A; Weir SS
Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass)
Sample Size Calculations for Population Size Estimation Studies Using Multiplier Methods With Respondent-Driven Sampling Surveys.
Fearon E; Chabata ST; Thompson JA; Cowan FM; Hargreaves JR
JMIR public health and surveillance
Associations between friendship characteristics and HIV and HSV-2 status amongst young South African women in HPTN-068.
Fearon E; Wiggins RD; Pettifor AE; MacPhail C; Kahn K; Selin A; Gómez-Olivé FX; Delany-Moretlwe S; Piwowar-Manning E; Laeyendecker O
Journal of the International AIDS Society
See more Publications