Sarah Roberts, PhD, MPH

  • Research Epidemiologist


Sarah Roberts is a junior investigator in the Women’s Global Health Imperative (WGHI) within RTI International’s Social and Statistical Sciences Group. Her research focuses on the behavioral, social, and structural factors that increase the risk of HIV for women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa – particularly the role of gender inequality, male engagement, and gender-based violence (GBV) – and in the design of interventions to maximize uptake of and adherence to biomedical HIV prevention and treatment strategies. At RTI, Dr. Roberts is the Principal Investigator on a study that seeks to increase PrEP uptake and adherence among adolescent girls and young women in Kenya by addressing barriers related to experience of GBV, and a co-investigator for three additional protocols on HIV prevention and treatment among young African women. She also provides technical advice on the behavioral assessments for several similar projects. From 2005 to 2012, Dr. Roberts was based in Lusaka, Zambia, where she managed multiple clinical trials and observational studies, primarily on behavioral and biomedical HIV prevention strategies. She completed her PhD in Epidemiology in 2016, with dissertation research focused on gender-based violence and HIV risk among female sex workers and HIV-serodiscordant couples in Kenya and Uganda. Additional research experience includes mathematical modeling of antiretroviral therapy roll-out, clinical studies of TB diagnosis in HIV-infected persons, and malaria case-finding in rural areas.