HIV epidemics among key populations in sub-Saharan Africa

In Progress

Global Health

HIV/Sexually Transmitted and Blood-borne Infections

Work and Health

Epidemic modeling can help us more fully understand the mechanisms by which diseases spread. More specifically, our research can estimate the contribution of high-risk groups to the overall HIV epidemic.

This project includes three studies currently underway. The findings could be used to inform more effective HIV-intervention priorities, policies and programs that specifically target groups at high risk of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

Study 1: Estimate the population size of male clients and HIV prevalence ratios of male clients compared with the general male population in Port Elizabeth (PE), South Africa

There are two parts to this sub-project:

  1. Using data from the 2014 PE clients survey and 2014 PE female sex workers survey, we estimate how many male clients of sex workers are currently living in PE.
  2. Using data from the 2014 PE clients survey and the South Africa National HIV Prevalence, Incidence, and Behavior Survey 2017 report, we will employ a triangulation method to estimate the HIV prevalence ratios comparing male clients to the general male population in PE.

Study 2: Modeling epidemic risk group dynamics

We will formalize methods for modeling risk group dynamics based on available data (such as how to choose rates of turnover among risk groups), and compare the influence of assumptions about risk group dynamics on projected model outputs (such as equilibrium incidence and prevalence). This new, modeling framework will consider the movement of individuals between risk groups, and thus can represent the reality of HIV transmission more accurately.

Study 3: What is left in 10-10-10?

We will determine the influence of heterogeneity within the remaining “10-10-10” on the projected impact of reaching the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets by the year 2020 in high prevalence HIV epidemics representative of Southern Africa.

Global Health

HIV/Sexually Transmitted and Blood-borne Infections

Work and Health

Dr. Sharmistha Mishra

An infectious diseases physician and Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Modeling and Program Science, Dr. Sharmistha Mishra is an international leader in mathematical modelling and epidemiology of HIV and other STIs.


  • Dr. Stefan Baral (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Dr. Harry Hausler (TB/HIV Care Association)
  • Sosthenes Ketende (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Dr. Sheree Schwartz (Johns Hopkins University)


  • Jesse Knight
  • Huiting Ma
  • Linwei Wang


  • Canadian Institutes for Health Research
  • National Institutes of Health


  • Carly Comins (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Dr. Vijayanand Guddera (TB/HIV Care Association)
  • Sindy Matse (Ministry of Health, Mbabane, Swaziland)
  • Mfezi Mcingana (TB/HIV Care Association)
  • Zandile Mnisi (Ministry of Health, Mbabane, Swaziland)
  • Oluwasolape Olawore (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Amrita Rao (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Dr. Katherine Young (TB/HIV Care Association)

Contact Info

Kristy Yiu

Research Coordinator

(416) 864-6060 ext. 77372