Dr Elizabeth Fearon


Assistant Professor


15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

020 7927 2877

I came to the LSHTM in 2009, first completing an MSc in Epidemiology and then a PhD which examined the effects of friendship networks amongst young South African women and their associations with HIV risk. Before I came to the LSHTM, I worked in international development, which was the subject of my first degree.

I am now working on projects related to the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, including among young women, female sex workers and gay men and men who have sex with men.


Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Department of Social and Environmental Health Research


Centre for Evaluation


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 am interested in social epidemiology, health equalities, social networks and in the design of impact evaluations. My research experience has been with HIV/AIDS among young women and among marginalised groups in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, I am working on a number of studies to characterise the HIV epidemic and to trial interventions among female sex workers in Zimbabwe and gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM) in South African and Kenya.

My PhD examined the associations between young women’s friendships and sexual behaviour in the context of HIV risk in South Africa. I worked in collaboration with HPTN 068, a randomised control trial examining the effect of monthly cash transfers to young women and their parent/guardians, conditional on their school attendance (University of North Carolina, University of the Witwatersrand and LSHTM).

Through my PhD research, I became interested in methodological as well as substantive aspects of social network analysis, including data collection, statistical analysis, and modelling of social networks in the absence of complete network data. I also have experience in using and examining respondent driven sampling methodologies(RDS), a method to sample 'hard to reach' populations in which participants recruit each other via their social networks.

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
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