Kathleen Wirth

Research Fellow

Department of Epidemiology

I am a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership in Gaborone, Botswana where I work under the mentorship of Drs. Eric Tchetgen Tchetgen and Victor De Gruttola. My research area is infectious disease epidemiology with a special focus on the dissemination and implementation of voluntary medical male circumcision for HIV prevention. I am also actively involved in the development and application of modern epidemiologic methods for observational data. 

HIV-related projects I am currently working on:

  • Mixed methods study of risk compensation, long-term safety, and acceptability of adult male circumcision in Botswana
  • Randomized trial to assess feasibility, safety, and acceptability of infant male circumcision in Botswana
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis of non-surgical circumcision for scale-up of adult male circumcision in Botswana
  • Prospective cohort study for the microbiologic causes and treatment outcomes of severe pneumonia among HIV-exposed infants in Botswana
  • Measles infection among HIV-positive children and adolescents in Botswana

Epidemiologic methods projects I am currently working on:

  • Instrumental variables for regression analysis when the outcome is missing not at random
  • Estimating HIV prevalence in the presence of spatial variation and survey non-participation
  • Accounting for selection bias in association studies with complex survey data


ScD, Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, 2011

BA, Economics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003


Kelly M.S., Wirth K.E., Steenhoff A.P., Cunningham C., Arscott-Mills T., Boiditswe C., Patel Z., Shah S.S., Finalle R., Makone I., Feemster K. Treatment failures and excess mortality among HIV-exposed, uninfected children with pneumonia in Botswana. Journal of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (in press).

Plank R.P., Wirth K.E., Ndubuka N., Abdullahi, Nkgau M., Lesetedi C., Powis K., Mmalane M., Makhema J., Shapiro R., Lockman S. Single-Arm Evaluation of the AccuCirc Device for Early Infant Male Circumcision in Botswana. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 2014; 66(1): e1-6

Wirth KE, Tchetgen Tchetgen EJ. Accounting for selection bias in association studies with complex survey data. Epidemiology. 2014; 25(3): 444-453.

Wirth KE, Tchetgen Tchetgen EJ, Silverman JG, Murray M. How does sex trafficking increase the risk of HIV infection? An observational study from Southern India. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2013; 177(3):232-41.

Plank R, Ndubuka N, Wirth KE, Mwambona J, Kebaabetswe P, Bassil B, Lesetedi C, Hussein F, Magetse J, Nkgau M, Mosetsana, Makhema J, Mmalane M, Creek T, Powis K, Shapiro R, Lockman S. A randomized trial of Mogen Clamp versus Plastibell for neonatal male circumcision in Botswana. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 2013; 62(5): e131-7.

Kelly MS, ConwayM, Wirth KE, Potter-Bynoe G, Billett A, Sandora TJ. Microbiology and risk factors for CLABSI among pediatric oncology outpatients. Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. 2013; 35(2):e71-6.

Welch H, Steenhoff AP, Chakalisa U, Arscott-Mills T, Tiwarenge S, Madan S, Gokhale N, Mazhani L, Mokomane M, Foster-Fabiano S, Wirth KE, Skinn A, Pernica JM, Smieja M, Goldfarb DM. Hospital-based Surveillance for Rotavirus Gastroenteritis using Molecular Testing and Immunoassay during the 2011 Season in Botswana. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 2013; 32(5):570-572.

Kelly MS, Conway M, Wirth KE, Potter-Bynoe G, Billett A, Sandora TJ. Moving CLABSI prevention beyond the intensive care unit: risk factors in pediatric oncology patients. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. 2011; 32(11):1079-85.

Silverman, JG, Decker M, Cheng D, Wirth KE, Saggurti N, McCauley H, Balaiah D, Raj A. Gender-based Disparities in Infant and Child Mortality based on Maternal Exposure to Spousal Violence: The Heavy Burden Borne by Indian Girls. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. 2011; 165(1): 22-27.

Wirth KE, Tchetgen Tchetgen EJ, Murray M. Adjustment for missing data in complex surveys using doubly robust estimation: Application to commercial sexual contact among Indian men. Epidemiology. 2010; 21(6):863-71.

Rein DB, Wittenborn JS, Lee PP, Wirth KE, Sorensen SW, Hoerger TJ, Saaddine JB. The The Cost-Effectiveness of Routine Identification and Subsequent Medical Treatment of Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma. Ophthalmology. 2009; 116(5):823-32.

Ford CA, Nonnemaker J, Wirth KEThe Influence of Adolescent Body Mass Index, Physical Activity, and Tobacco Use on Blood Pressure and Cholesterol in Young Adulthood. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2008; 43(6):576-83.

Wirth KE, Rein DB. The Economic Costs and Benefits of Dog Guides for the Blind.Ophthalmic Epidemiology. 2008; 15(2):92-8.

Rein DB, Hicks KA, Wirth KE, Billah K, Finelli L, Fiore AE, Hoerger TJ, Bell BP, Armstrong GL. Cost-effectiveness of routine childhood vaccination for hepatitis A in the United States. Pediatrics. 2007; 119(1):e12-21.

Armstrong GL, Billah K, Rein DB, Hicks KA, Wirth KE, Bell BP. The Economics of Routine Childhood Hepatitis A Immunization in the United States–The Impact of Herd Immunity. Pediatrics. 2007; 119(1):e22-9.

Honeycutt AA, Anderson WL, Wirth KE, Coleman MS. Cost-Effectiveness of Standing Orders for Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations in North Carolina Hospitals. Vaccine. 2007; 25(8):1484-96.

Rein DB, Saadine JB, Wittenborn JS, Wirth KE, Hoerger TJ, Sorenson SW, Narayan KMV, Clemons T, Ferris FL. Cost-effectiveness of vitamin therapy for age-related macular degeneration. Ophthalmology. 2007; 114(7):1319-26.

Rein DB, Wirth KE, Johnson CA, Lee PP.Estimating Quality-Adjusted Life Year Losses Associated with Visual Field Deficits Using Methodological Approaches. Ophthalmic Epidemiology. 2007; 14(4):258-64.

Rein DB, Zhang P, Wirth KE, Lee PP, Hoerger TJ, McCall N, Klein R, Tielsch JM, Vijan S, Saadine J. The Economic Burden of Major Adult Visual Disorders in the United States. Archives of Ophthalmology. 2006; 124(12):1754-60.