Gillings School Directory

Audrey Pettifor, PhD

Dr. Audrey Pettifor

Audrey Pettifor, PhD

Department of Epidemiology
Faculty Fellow
Carolina Population Center
  • 2101-D Mcgavran-Greenberg Hall
  • CB #7435
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7435
  • USA

Dr. Audrey Pettifor is an epidemiologist whose research focuses on sexual behavior and determinants of HIV/STI infection in sub-Saharan Africa. Her goal is to identify modifiable risk factors and develop novel interventions to prevent new HIV infections—particularly among adolescents and young women.

Dr Pettifor has expertise in sexual behavior, HIV prevention, HIV testing and structural interventions among adolescents and young adults in sub-Saharan Africa, and has published extensively in the area of HIV and sexual behavior among youth in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Pettifor has worked in South Africa for close to 20 years and has also conducted research in Malawi, Madagascar, Kenya, Zimbabwe and the Demographic Republic of Congo.

Representative Courses

EPID 755: Infectious Diseases Epidemiology | Syllabus

Teaching Interests

Dr. Pettifor is lead instructor for this course, which is required for epidemiology doctoral students who choose to focus on infectious diseases.

Research Activities

5R01 MH103198 (Lippman/Pettifor) 08/15/14-07/31/19
Activating Treatment as Prevention through Community Mobilization in South Africa
This study is a randomized community trial to determine the impact of a community mobilization intervention on increasing the uptake of HIV testing, linkage to care and retention in care for people living with HIV in 16 villages in rural Agincourt, South Africa.
Role: Principal Investigator

D43TW009774 (Pettifor) 06/01/14-3/30/19
UNC Wits AIDS Implementation Research and Cohort Analyses Training Grant
This is a training grant in collaboration with the School of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg to create a new Masters of Science with a concentration in epidemiology and implementation science.
Role: Principal Investigator

NIH Kahn/Pettifor 11/01/14-10/31/18
Innovative HIV testing to enhance care for young women and their partners
In this study we examine the uptake of HIV self-testing among young women, their peers and their partners with the aim of increasing testing, identifying undiagnosed HIV infections, promoting repeat testing and linking those that test positive to care in a population at very high risk of infection.
Role: Principal Investigator (MPI)

5R01MH087118-02 (Pettifor) 07/01/2009-04/30/2015
Effects of Cash Transfer and Community Mobilization in Young South African Women
The objective is to determine the effect of an innovative, multi-level HIV prevention intervention that will jointly address both structural and social factors that contribute to young women's increased vulnerability to HIV. Families of young women will be provided with cash transfers conditional on the young women attending school with the goal of reducing the young women's HIV risk by keeping her in school by improving her family's economic resources (structural factors).
Role: Principal Investigator

Population Council 3/01/15-2/31/16
Empowerment and Financial Education following a Conditional Cash Transfer Trial in South Africa: what is needed to maintain intervention effects
The primary aim of this proposal is to determine the feasibility and acceptability of an empowerment and livelihoods intervention among young women exiting a conditional cash transfer study with the aim of maintaining and/or strengthening the effects of the program upon completion and explore possible efficacy
Role: Principal Investigator

Key Publications

HPTN 062: A Feasibility and Acceptability Pilot Intervention to Reduce HIV Transmission Risk Behaviors Among Individuals with Acute and Early HIV Infection in Lilongwe, Malawi. W Chege, A Corneli, C Golin, G Hamela, D Hilgenberg, I Hoffman, G Kamanga, F Martinson, C Massa, K McKenna, S Ou, A Pettifor, J Tharaldson, X Yu (2014). AIDS and behavior.

The Government of Kenya's cash transfer program reduces the risk of sexual debut among young people age 15-25. Carolyn Halpern, Sudhanshu Handa, Audrey Pettifor, Harsha Thirumurthy (2014). PLoS ONE, 9(1).

Conceptualizing Community Mobilization for HIV Prevention: Implications for HIV Prevention Programming in the African Context. Kathleen Kahn, Sheri Lippman, Catherine MacPhail, Suzanne Maman, Dean Peacock, Audrey Pettifor, Rhian Twine (2013). PLoS ONE, 8(10).

Hormonal contraception and HIV: the methods have confused the message. Myron Cohen, Audrey Pettifor, Sheree Schwartz, Gretchen Stuart (2013). AIDS, 27.

Feasibility and acceptability of Project Connect: A couples-based HIV-risk reduction intervention among young couples in Johannesburg, South Africa. Catherine MacPhail, Nadia Nguyen, Lisa Parker, Audrey Pettifor, Molly Rosenberg, Jabu Sibeko (2014). AIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV, 26(4), 476-482.

Preventing HIV among young people: Research priorities for the future. Susannah Allison, Linda-Gail Bekker, Sheana Bull, Frances Cowan, Sinead Delany-Moretlwe, Ralph DiClemente, Sybil Hosek, Bill Kapogiannis, Audrey Pettifor, Molly Rosenberg (2013). Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 63.

Assessing the effect of HIV counselling and testing on HIV acquisition among South African youth. Till Bärnighausen, Frieda Behets, Suzanne Maman, William Miller, Marie-Louise Newell, Audrey Pettifor, Nora Rosenberg, Daniel Westreich (2013). AIDS, 27(17), 2765-2773.

Patient retention from HIV diagnosis through one year on antiretroviral therapy at a primary health care clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. Jean Bassett, Frieda Behets, Kate Clouse, Matthew Fox, Cynthia Gay, Mhairi Maskew, Audrey Pettifor, Annelies Rie, Ian Sanne (2013). Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 62(2), e39-e46.


PhD, Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley, 2004

MPH, Maternal and Child Health, University of California, Berkeley, 2000

BA (with Distinction), Biomedical Ethics (minor in English Literature), University of Virginia, Charlottesville, 1996

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