Hubert Department of Global Health Faculty


Susan A. Allen  

Updated: 08/01/2011    [update]
Jointly Appointed (Graduate Faculty)

Director, Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group

Department of:
Hubert Department of Global Health

1520 Clifton Road NE
SON Room 234
Atlanta, GA 30322
tel: (404) 727-7883

Chemistry, 1980, Duke University
Medicine, 1984, Duke University Medical School
Pathology, 1986, University of California in San Fransisco
Tropical Medicine, 1993, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
MPH (Epidemiology), 1995, University of California at Berkeley
Courses Taught:
GH 563: AIDS: Pub Health Implications
Areas of Interest/Research:
Global Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Behavior
Selected Research Projects:

Beginning with a mobile HIV testing site in Kigali, Rwanda in 1986, the Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group (RZHRG) has developed the longest-standing and largest heterosexual HIV-discordant couples’ cohort in the world at Projet San Francisco (PSF). The project’s second main research site, the Zambia-Emory HIV Research Project in Lusaka, Zambia, maintains the next largest cohort.   Three additional sites have opened since 2003: Ndola, Zambia; Kitwe, Zambia, and Mazabuka, Zambia.  In 2007, in collaboration with the CDC, National Institutes of Health, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, The Couples HIV Counseling and Testing (CHCT) Intervention and Training Curriculum  was developed and disseminated internationally by the CDC.  The curriculum was developed in response to Dr. Allen's research in Rwanda and Zambia showing that the uninfected half of sero-discordant couples are significantly more likely to remain uninfected if the couple receives HIV counseling, testing and serostatus disclosure at the same time, in each others' presence. This observation created an immediate need to equip community field sites around the world with tools for implementing couples’ voluntary counseling and testing (CVCT) interventions.  In 2008, RZRHG was awarded funding by the CDC to expand CVCT to the Southern Provinces of Zambia and throughout Rwanda in an effort to translate research into service as well as develop local sustainability through integration of CVCT into medical and ante-natal clinics and the training of CVCT counselors.  In addition to RZHRG's research and service expansions, the RZRHG research sites also work in collaboration with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) to conduct vaccine studies in both countries.

To learn more about RZHRG and potential student-driven research opportunities, please visit

Selected Publications:
For a complete listing of all publicatons and items in press, go to the RZHRG website.
Publications and Resources
Updated : July, 2008.
Allen S. Karita E., Chomba E., Roth DL, Telfair J, Zulu I, Clark L, Kancheya N, Conkling M, Stephenson R, Bekan B, Kimbrell K, Dunham S, Henderson F, Sinkala M, Carael M, Haworth A. erson F, Sinkala M, Carael M, Haworth A.
Promotion of Couples Voluntary Counseling and Testing for HIV Through Influential Networks in Two African Capital Cities.
BMC Public Health
, 7: 349, 2007.
Stephenson, R., Barker, J., Cramer, R., Hall, M. A., Karita, E., Chomba, E., Vwalika, C. and Allen, S.
The demographic profile of sero-discordant couples enrolled in clinical research in Rwanda and Zambia
, 20:3: 395-405, 2008.
Stephenson R, Shutes E, Allen S, McKenna S, Brill I, Meinzen-Derr J, Kancheya N, Zulu I, Sinkala M, Tichacek A, Clark L, Haworth A and Chomba, E.
The Impact of Project Closure on HIV Incidence and Mortality in a Cohort of Couples in Lusaka, Zambia
, 20:6: 683-691, 2008.
Chomba E, Allen S, Kanweka W, Tichacek A, Cox G, Shutes E, Zulu I, Kancheya N, Sinkala M, Stephenson R, Haworth, A, and the RZHRG.
Evolution of Couples’ Voluntary Counseling and Testing for HIV in Lusaka, Zambia
, 47: 108-115, 2008.
Dunkle K, Stephenson R, Karita E, Chomba E, Kayitenkore K, Vwalika C, Greenberg L, Allen S.
New heterosexually transmitted HIV infections in married or cohabiting couples in urban Zambia and Rwanda: an analysis of survey and clinical data
, 371: 2183-91, 2008.
Other affiliations and Activities:
Dr. Allen is also active in genocide prevention and bringing awareness to Rwanda's past genocides.  More information is available on the RZHRG website under the "genocide prevention" link.  Please contact Dr. Allen if you are interested in helping with such efforts.
Link to this page: