Dr Bernadette Hensen


Assistant Professor


Keppel Street
United Kingdom

I first joined the School in 2009, after completing the MSc Control of Infectious Diseases and working in Zambia with various NGOs to implement a comprehensive HIV care and prevention programme for OVC. During this time I worked as a programme manager for ZAMSTAR and my research focussed primarily on HIV testing and I subsequently started a PhD in Epidemiology, exploring strategies to increase the uptake of HIV testing services among men in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on Zambia. I currently work as an epidemiologist supporting two trials of community-based distribution of HIV testing services, including one under the STAR -: project. I also support a study in Zimbabwe, which aims to evaluate the impact of DREAMS among young women at highest risk of HIV in Zimbabwe. 


Department of Clinical Research


Centre for Evaluation
Centre for Maternal Adolescent Reproductive & Child Health (MARCH)


I am Module Organiser for the distance learning Evaluation of Public Health Interventions module (PHM219); I currently teach on Basic Epidemiology and mark for the DL courses ASME and AIDS. 


I am an epidemiologist with a particular interest in the control and prevention of HIV and other STIs. I am particularly interested in the structural and social drivers of HIV risk, their influence on access to available prevention services and developing and evaluating programmes to reach populations with limited access to available services. I am also interested in how place and social networks influence access to health services. My research to date has mainly focussed on strategies to increase uptake of HIV testing services, as a gateway prevention and care. I currently work on two HIV self-testing trials and an impact evaluation of the DREAMS initiative, a combined package of interventions to reduce the risk of HIV among adolescents girls and young women, in Zimbabwe. 

Research Area
Sexual health
Disease control
Impact evaluation
Operational research
Disease and Health Conditions
Sexually transmitted infection
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Selected Publications

Changes Over Time in HIV Prevalence and Sexual Behaviour Among Young Female Sex-Workers in 14 Sites in Zimbabwe, 2013-2016.
Chabata ST; Hensen B; Chiyaka T; Mushati P; Mtetwa S; Hanisch D; Napierala S; Busza J; Floyd S; Fearon E
AIDS and Behavior
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)
Application of an HIV Prevention Cascade to Identify Gaps in Increasing Coverage of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Services in 42 Rural Zambian Communities.
Hensen B; Fearon E; Schaap A; Lewis JJ; Weiss HA; Tembo M; Chintu N; Ayles H; Hargreaves JR
AIDS and behavior
Evaluating the impact of the DREAMS partnership to reduce HIV incidence among adolescent girls and young women in four settings: a study protocol.
Birdthistle I; Schaffnit SB; Kwaro D; Shahmanesh M; Ziraba A; Kabiru CW; Phillips-Howard P; Chimbindi N; Ondeng'e K; Gourlay A
BMC public health
Reaching young women who sell sex: Methods and results of social mapping to describe and identify young women for DREAMS impact evaluation in Zimbabwe.
Chiyaka T; Mushati P; Hensen B; Chabata S; Hargreaves JR; Floyd S; Birdthistle IJ; Cowan FM; Busza JR
PloS one
Evaluating the impact of DREAMS on HIV incidence among young women who sell sex: protocol for a non-randomised study in Zimbabwe.
Hensen B; Hargreaves JR; Chiyaka T; Chabata S; Mushati P; Floyd S; Birdthistle I; Busza J; Cowan F
BMC public health
Community based distribution of oral HIV self-testing kits in Zambia: a cluster-randomised trial nested in four HPTN 071 (PopART) intervention communities.
Mulubwa C; Hensen B; Phiri MM; Shanaube K; Schaap AJ; Floyd S; Phiri CR; Bwalya C; Bond V; Simwinga M
Lancet HIV
Factors associated with HIV-testing and acceptance of an offer of home-based testing by men in rural Zambia.
Hensen B; Lewis JJ; Schaap A; Tembo M; Mutale W; Weiss HA; Hargreaves J; Ayles H
AIDS and behavior
Systematic review of strategies to increase men's HIV-testing in sub-Saharan Africa.
Hensen B; Taoka S; Lewis JJ; Weiss HA; Hargreaves J
AIDS (London, England)
See more Publications