Dr Elizabeth Fearon
BA MSc PhD
15-17 Tavistock Place
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 stigmatised populations. During 2020-2021 I have been working on testing, tracing and isolation strategies for reduction of SARS-CoV-2 transmisison.
I have taught on and/or co-organised a range of MSc modules including Applied Communicable Disease Control, Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, Basic Statistics, Statistical Methods in Epidemiology and Population Health, Foundations of Health Promotion, Evaluations of Public Health Interventions and the Social Epidemiology MSc modules. I 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. This has included working on intervention evaluation, 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 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.