Sanyukta Mathur leads the Population Council’s implementation science research to reduce adolescent girls and young women’s risk for HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa as part of the DREAMS Initiative. In this role, Mathur uses operations research to design and test new approaches that improve adolescent girl programming and that assess the effectiveness of interventions aimed at keeping girls safe from HIV.
Mathur is a social scientist whose research has looked at the influence of various social and structural issues on health-seeking behaviors of adolescents. She has explored the role of gender and power in relationships and their influence on HIV risk, the impact of key social transitions related to fertility desires on HIV risk, and the role stigma and discrimination play in access to HIV care and treatment.
Mathur is an adjunct assistant professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Prior to joining the Population Council, she was an Assistant Professor at Columbia, where she was the project director and co-PI on two NIH grants, one examining risk factors associated with HIV acquisition among youth and another that explored the intersection between fertility desires/intentions and HIV in southwestern Uganda. This research elucidated risk and protective factors associated with HIV incidence among young people within the context of a generalized epidemic and influence of social and structural changes on HIV risk behaviors. Prior to joining Columbia, Mathur was as a Public Health Specialist at International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) where she led a program examining the impact of integrated health and economic interventions on the sexual and reproductive health outcomes of young people.
Mathur received her doctorate in public health from Columbia University and masters of health science from Johns Hopkins University. She is published in the American Journal of Public Health, Culture, Health & Sexuality, the JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and many other peer-reviewed publications.