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Guy Harling

Sir Henry Dale Senior Research Fellow, University College London


Academic webpage:
     Institute for Global Health
Mortimer Market Centre
London WC1E 6JB, UK

UCL profile
         Guy Harling

I am a Sir Henry Dale Senior Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Global Health (IGH) at University College London. My research focuses on the social determinants of infectious diseases, mainly on HIV and mainly in sub-Saharan-Africa. I work increasingly on the impact of social networks on behaviour and health outcomes. I have a side interest in methods to either improve data collection or account for imperfect data collection during analysis.

I was previously a postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where I worked with Till Bärnighausen, Jukka-Pekka Onnela and Victor De Gruttola. I completed a doctoral degree in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences in 2013.

I am also affilliated with Africa Health Research Institute (previously K-RITH and Africa Centre for Population Health) in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. As part of my ongoing work with the HAALSI cohort I am now additionally affiliated with the MRC/Wits Agincourt Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit. I remain affiliated with the Harvard Chan School, specifically with the Department of Epidemiology and the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


  • April 2019.  I will be presenting on the associations bewteen social influences and sexual behaviours among young South African adults at Sunbelt 2019 in Montréal in late June. I am also hosting a session on Social Support and Health during the same meeting - it runs most of Thursday I believe.
  • April 2019.  Both our PAA papers are now available for your reading pleasure; any comments would be very welcome.
    Social engagement and cognitive health: a population-based study of older men and women in rural South Africa is a PAA award winning (!) poster and the working paper is available on SocArXiv.
    And A new method for recording responses to questions about traumatic sexual life events: evidence of the use of the Non-Verbal Response Card method in a survey of adolescents in rural Burkina Faso working paper is on the PAA program website.
  • January 2019.  I will be presenting two projects at the upcoming PAA conference in Austin TX. I will be making an oral presentation on whether non-verbal response cards got young people to respond more truthfully to questions about sexual behaviour. And I will be presenting a poster (from 8-9:30 on Friday morning!) on work from the HAALSI cohort on how social networks and cognition are associated amongst middle-aged and older adults. Related papers will be forthcoming...
  • April 2018.  I am delighted to announce that I have been awarded a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship by the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society . The award is for work entitled Using social networks to understand and intervene on HIV epidemic spread , will start in the near future and run for five years initially. The work will be conducted at University College London in the UK and AHRI in South Africa.
  • July 2016.  I also gave an oral presentation on work led by my colleagues Catherine Oldenburg and Jacob Bor. The studies used Regression Discontinuity designs to show the impact of ART on both mortality and CD4 counts (up to 4 years later) and on HIV incidence amongst household members. A video of the 10 minute talk is now on Youtube; the presentation was coverd in a MedPage Today article.
  • July 2016.  I will be presenting a poster of the application of Heckman-style bivariate selection models to South African national HIV survey data, at the AIDS conference in Durban in July. It sounds very dry, but represents an important step forward in accounting for interviewees who decline HIV tests in systematic but hard to measure ways. The poster is available here.
  • June 2016.  I gave a presentation on the effects of fieldworkers and learning effects on network survey data at the SunBelt conference in Long Beach, CA in April. TL;DR: always check to see how your responses are changing as fieldwork progresses. The slides from the presentation are available here.
  • April 2015.  I have been accepted to give a presentation on work relating to edge-truncation in network surveys at the SunBelt conference in Brighton, UK this June. The slides from the presentation are available here.
  • March 2015.  I will be presenting a poster of our paper on validating partner age-reports in South Africa, at the PAA conference in San Diego at the end of April. The poster is available here. The paper is now published.
  • June 2014.  I will be presenting preliminary results of a paper entitled The interplay of own and partner's education on HIV risk in sub-Saharan Africa as a poster at the 2014 SER conference in Seattle later this month. This paper is now published.
  • May 2014.  My final dissertation paper, Age-Disparate Relationships and HIV Incidence amongst Rural South Africa Women, is now published online at JAIDS. It contains a lot more discussion of the findings than was possible in my earlier oral presentation at CROI. And there's a really nice write-up of it over at Scientific American's blog.
  • March 2014.  The webcast of my CROI presentation is now available.
    The presentation has received coverage from the scientific press at aidsmap, Science Speaks, and Health-e.
    And also from the more general press at Ground Up, the Times and Durban's Sunday Tribune.
  • December 2013.  Our paper entitled Age-Disparate Relationships and HIV Incidence amongst Rural South Africa Women has been accepted for an oral presentation at CROI 2014, which will be held in Boston in the first week of March 2014. This work formed part of my doctoral dissertation.
  • November 2013.  It's taken a few years(!), but A spatial analysis of social and economic determinants of tuberculosis in Brazil, a paper that began life as a class exercise has been accepted for publication at Health and Place. If you like maps, especially of Brazilian municipalities, you'll love this. Also if you're interested in the social determinants of TB.
  • April 2013.  My dissertation paper entitled Socioeconomic disparities in Sexually Transmitted Infections among young adults in the United States: examining the interaction between income and race/ethnicity has been accepted for publication in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases. The paper is now available.
  • April 2012.  Our abstract entitled School income inequality and sexually transmitted infections in the United States has been accepted for a poster presentation at the Annual SER Meeting. More details on this project are available here.

  • Guy Harling's personal webpages. Last updated: