HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections

Infectious Diseases are transmitted within societies…

Graham Medley, Zindoga Mukandavire, Anna Foss, Peter Vickerman, Mike Pickles, Holly Prudden and Milena Simic-Lawson are members of the Social and Mathematical Epidemiology (SaME) group. SaME is a inter-disciplinary group, where modellers are working with social epidemiologists, health economists and anthropologists to address the contexts within which infections are transmitted. The majority of work to date has been modelling of HIV/STI transmission and the impact of prevention interventions in various sub-Saharan African1 2, Asian3 4 and South American5 settings, commonly working in close collaboration with overseas partners. Across these diverse settings, much of their work focuses on female sex workers, men who have sex with men and injecting drug users. In addition to HIV modelling, the team have developed and used models for herpes6 7 and syphilis transmission. The group also contribute to methodological advances in handling model structural8 and parametric uncertainty (including improving model fitting techniques9 10 and using model fitting methods to infer information about key parameters11, along with enhancing methods for modelling sexual mixing patterns12). Members of the group use mathematics to explore social epidemiological questions13, and Milena Simic-Lawson is working to further integrate the disciplines of epidemiology and mathematical modelling in her PhD. The modellers often work with the economists in the SaME group on joint projects such as cost-effectiveness analyses14. Their research funders include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The UK Department for International Development (DfID), the World Bank, the UK Medical Research Council (MRC), the Wellcome Trust, the UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence, the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), UNAIDS and WHO.

Modelling behavioural heterogeneity


Rebecca Baggaley, Anna Foss, Mike Pickles, Graham Medley, Zindoga MukandavireHolly Prudden, Milena Simic-Lawson, Peter Vickerman, Richard White



  1. Cox AP, Foss AM, Shafer L-A, Nsubuga R, Vickerman P, Hayes R, Watts C, White RG. Attaining realistic and significant reductions in HIV Incidence: Combining microbicide and male circumcision interventions in Rural Uganda. Sex Transm Infect 2011;87(7):635-9
  2. Vickerman P, Watts C, Delany S, Alary M, Rees H, Heise L. The importance of context: model projections on how microbicide impact could be affected by the underlying epidemiologic and behavioral situation in 2 African settings. Sex Transm Dis 2006;33(6):397-405.
  3. Foss AM, Watts CH, Vickerman P, Azim T, Guinness L, Ahmed M, Rodericks A, Jana S. Could the CARE-SHAKTI intervention for injecting drug users be maintaining the low HIV prevalence in Dhaka, Bangladesh? Addiction 2007;102(1):114-125.
  4. Vickerman P, Foss AM, Pickles M, Deering K, Verma S, Demers E, Lowndes CM, Moses S, Alary M, Boily M-C. To what extent is the HIV epidemic in southern India driven by commercial sex? A modelling analysis. AIDS 2010;24(16):2563-72.

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