Harsha Thirumurthy

News

  • Research, published in AIDS and Behavior, by Alison M. Buttenheim (PSC Research Associate) and Harsha Thirumurthy (PSC/PARC Research Associate) was featured in a new video describing their project on messaging and uptake of HIV testing among men in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Harsha Thirumurthy (PSC/PARC Research Associate) was featured in Penn Today for new research published in The Lancet HIV. The study by Thirumurthy and co-authors examined the effect on male partner testing, couples testing, and HIV incidence in Kenya by providing women sustained access to HIV self-tests. It is the first study to evaluate whether access to free HIV self-tests for an extended period of time enables women to become more aware of their current and potential partners’ HIV status and to reduce their risk of acquiring HIV. Image source: The Lancet

  • Harsha Thirumurthy (PSC/PARC Research Associate) wrote an Op-ed for The Philadelphia Inquirer about the pros and cons of waiving the COVID-19 vaccine patents for low-income countries.

Associate Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy

Ph.D., Economics, Yale University, 2006

I am trained as a development economist and began my research career using longitudinal household survey data that my colleagues and I collected in Kenya. I used these data along with a non-experimental study design to examine the effects of improvements in the health of HIV-infected adults (due to provision of HIV treatment) on employment outcomes of those adults as well as nutrition and schooling outcomes of children living with those adults. This research led to publications in the Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Public Economics, and Economic Development and Cultural Change. My research focus builds directly on the PDB Program areas, STD/HIV/AIDS and Population Economics.  My work aligns with PDB’s research focus in Demography, Behavioral and Social Science Research and Population Health.  Recent research (with partial support from an NICHD K01 award, K01HD061605) has tested innovative behavioral interventions to increase utilization of HIV prevention services and that has measured individuals’ subjective expectations about survival and health.  I have led research on the use of economic incentives in Africa, particularly an RCT of small incentives to promote uptake of medical male circumcision in Kenya (published in JAMA in 2014). My research expertise and my strong collaborative record with clinicians and translational scientists qualifies me to serve as an Active Research Scientist at the PSC. Over the past 10 years I have published over 60 articles in economics and biomedical journals. I have become a leading expert on economic and behavioral aspects of HIV/AIDS in Africa, having served on the program committee of the International AIDS Conference in 2013 and 2016. Prior to my appointment at Penn, I maintained expertise in population studies through engagement in the Carolina Population Center and ongoing service as a standing member of the NICHD Population Sciences Subcommittee. The PSC represents an important resource for collaboration and integration of my research interests in household decision-making, subjective expectations, health behavior, and population health. 

Videos

  • Penn LDI: Harhsa Thirumurthy on COVID-19 Impact on Low-Income African Households
  • CBS News: Harsha Thirumurthy on COVID-19 vaccinations plateau despite incentive programs
  • Center for Advanced Study of India, Penn : Heather Schofield and Harhsa Thirumurthy on Applications of Economics and Behavioral Science to Public Health