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Caitlin Elizabeth Kennedy, PhD

  • Program Director, Social and Behavioral Interventions
  • Associate Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E5547
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


Rakai Health Sciences Program

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PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2009
MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2004
BA, Swarthmore College, 2000


I am an Associate Professor and Director of the Social and Behavioral Interventions program in the Department of International Health. As a social and behavioral scientist trained in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, I apply these methods to the development and evaluation of innovative HIV prevention interventions and strategies to improve the health and well-being of people living in resource-limited settings.

I am particularly interested in (1) understanding the complexities of HIV risk and the development of tailored services and combination HIV prevention and care strategies for key populations, such as sex workers and men who have sex with men (MSM), and highly affected populations where unique economic and social patterns create heightened HIV risk, such as fishing communities along East Africa’s great lakes; (2) interventions with structural components that attempt to change the underlying drivers of HIV risk, such as conditional or unconditional cash transfers for young women or community empowerment interventions for sex workers; (3) positive health, dignity and prevention (PHDP) approaches that work with people living with HIV to improve health and reduce onward transmission risk; and (4) social and behavioral aspects of new biomedical HIV prevention strategies, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for sex workers.

I current lead an R01 examining social and structural factors shaping HIV risk and service use in high-prevalence "hotspot" fishing communities along Lake Victoria in Uganda in collaboration with the Rakai Health Sciences Program ( (R01MH105313, PI: Kennedy). This study uses both qualitative and survey research methods to better understand the complex and dynamic issues in these unique settings.

I am also committed to seeing research translate into policy, particularly through my extensive involvement in systematic reviews and World Health Organization normative guidelines. I have contributed to over a dozen WHO guidelines, primarily in the fields of HIV and sexual and reproductive health.

Honors and Awards

Excellence in Advising Award. Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health, 2011 and 2018.

SOURCE faculty community service award. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 2010.

  • HIV prevention
  • behavioral interventions
  • combination HIV prevention
  • positive health dignity and prevention
  • PHDP
  • cash transfers
  • pre-exposure prophylaxis
  • PrEP
  • community empowerment
  • HIV testing
  • HIV care and treatment
  • serosorting
  • sex workers
  • men who have sex with men (MSM)
  • people living with HIV
  • fishing communities
  • qualitative research
  • systematic review
  • meta-analysis
  • guidelines
  • World Health Organization
  • sub-Saharan Africa
  • India
  • Uganda
  • Tanzania
  • Swaziland
  • Botswana
  • Togo

Selected recent publications

  • Kennedy C, Fonner V, Armstrong K, O’Reilly K, Sweat M. Increasing HIV serostatus disclosure in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review of intervention evaluations. AIDS. 2015 Jun;29 Suppl 1:S7-S23
  • Kennedy C, Brahmbhatt H, Likindikoki S, Mbwambo J, Beckham S, Kerrigan D. Exploring the potential of a conditional cash transfer intervention to reduce HIV risk among young women in Iringa, Tanzania. AIDS Care. 2014;26(3):275-81.
  • Kennedy C, Baral S, Fielding-Miller R, Adams D, Dludlu P, Sithole B, Fonner V, Mnisi Z, Kerrigan D. “They are human beings, they are Swazi”: Intersecting stigmas and the positive health, dignity and prevention needs of HIV-infected men who have sex with men in Swaziland. Journal of the International AIDS Society. 2013;16(Suppl 3):18749. PMCID: PMC3852123.
  • Kennedy CE, Yeh PT, Pandey S, Betran AP, Narasimhan M. Elective cesarean section for women living with HIV: a systematic review of risks and benefits. AIDS. 2017 Jul 17;31(11):1579-1591.
  • Kerrigan D, Kennedy C, Morgan-Thomas R, Reza-Paul S, Mwangi P, Win, KT, McFall A, Fonner V, Butler J. A community empowerment approach to the HIV response among sex workers: Effectiveness, challenges, and considerations for implementation and scale-up. The Lancet. 2014 Jul 21. S0140-6736(14); 60973-9.