Denise Dion Hallfors, PhD


Adjunct Professor 
Maternal & Child Health

Curriculum Vitae


PIRE, 1516 E. Franklin St. , Suite 200 
Chapel Hill 27514 


1980  Arizona State University  Pychiatric Nursing

1993  Heller School, Brandeis University  Social Welfare Policy

Research activities

Current grants: NIH/NICHD 4/1/07-12/31/10 Principal Investigator Can Church Schools Reduce Risk of HIV Infection for Orphan Girls in Zimbabwe? Specific aims: 1) To test experimentally whether modest assistance can help orphan girls stay in school through high school, and whether attending a church-run school is more protective against HIV risk behaviors than secular school; 2) To compare the content and consistency of sex and HIV-related messages in church-sponsored versus secular high schools; and 3) To examine how female orphans perceive HIV messages and to explore the context in which the girls make decisions about sexual behavior. NIH/NIMH 1/1/08-12/31/10 Principal Investigator Preventing HIV Risk Among Adolescent Orphans in Kenya This study uses a strong conceptual framework and experimental design to pilot test whether an innovative package of services can help young adolescent Luo orphans of Kenya stay in school and prevent HIV risk behaviors. The study focuses specifically on the sexual risk behaviors of adolescent orphans, and examines whether structural interventions can reduce sexual risk and protect orphan youth from HIV infection.

 Research Interests

  • Global health
  • Health behavior
  • Minority health
  • Reproductive health
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Substance abuse

Key Publications

Hallfors, D.D., Iritani, B., Miller, W.C., Bauer, D (2007) 
Sexual and Drug Behavior Patterns and HIV/STD Racial Disparities: The Need for New Directions
American Journal of Public Health: vol.97, p.125-132.

Hallfors, D., Cho, H., Sanchez, V., Khatapoush, S., Kim, H., Bauer, D. (2006) 
Efficacy vs effectiveness trial results of an indicated “model” substance abuse program: implications for public health
American Journal of Public Health: vol.96, p.2254-2259.

Hallfors, D., Brodish, P., Khatapoush, S., Sanchez, V., Cho, H., Iritani, B. (2006) 
Feasibility of Screening Adolescents for Suicide Risk in ‘Real World’ High School Settings
American Journal of Public Health: vol.96, p.282-287.

Hallfors, D.D., Waller, M.A., Bauer, D., Ford, C.A., Halpern, C.T. (2005) 
Which Comes First in Adolescence: Sex and Drugs or Depression?
American Journal of Preventive Medicine: vol.29, p.163-170.

Hallfors, D., Cho, H., Livert, D., Kadushin, C. (2002) 
How Are Community Coalitions ‘Fighting Back’ Against Substance Abuse, And Are they Winning?
American Journal of Preventive Medicine: vol.23, p.237-245.