- Associate Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy
- Yale University, PhD, MA, MPhil
- Oberlin College, BA, Economics and Physics
Harsha Thirumurthy is Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics an Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also Associate Director at the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, where he leads global initiatives and a Research Associate at Penn's Population Studies Center. Professor Thirumurthy's interest lie at the intersecton of economics and public health. His research seeks to design and rigorously evaluate interventions that can achieve changes in health behaviors in low-income settings, typically using insights from psychology and economics as well as novel technologies. His work has focused on medication adherence, HIV prevention and treatment, and behaviors related to maternal and child health. He has led several randomized trials of incentive-based approches to health and promotion as well as mobile health (mHealth) interventions. Dr. Thirumurthy's research has also studied the impacts of large-scale health initiatives. He has published peer-reviewed articles in a number of leading journals in economics, public health and medicine including JAMA, The Lancet HIV, PLOS Medicine, the Journal of Public Economics and the American Economic Journal-Applied Economics. Currently he is leading NIH-funded projects on the use of HIV self tests to improve decision-making and on the use of novel incentive-based interventions to promote HIV testing and engagement in care in Uganda. He is also leading projects on mental health outcomes in India. Dr. Thirumurthy completed a Ph.D. in economics at Yale University. He is an affiliate of the Bureau for Research on the Economic Analysis of Development and is currently a member of the Population Sciences review panel at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
AIDS circumcision campaign boosted by new evidence
A campaign to encourage circumcision among men in sub-Saharan Africa to help protect them against the AIDS virus was backed by new research on Monday showing that men who have had the operation are unlikely to engage in unprotected sex.
U.S. Malaria Donations Saved Almost 2 Million African Children
Over the last decade, American donations to fight malaria in Africa have saved the lives of nearly two million children, according to a new analysis of mortality rates in 32 countries there. The study, published by PLOS Medicine this month, looked at the long-term effects of the President’s Malaria Initiative, a program started by President George W. Bush in 2005 that has spent over $500 million a year since 2010. The results debunk one of the persistent myths of foreign aid: that it has no effect because more children survive each year anyway as economies improve.
Don't Put the Brakes on Ending AIDS
Allowing the pace of treatment delivery to slow down doesn’t make public health or economic sense. A recent study found that HIV treatment programs in developing countries result in long-term economic returns of up to 287 percent in the form of increased labor productivity, averted orphan care, and deferred medical care. A World Bank study in Kenya showed that when AIDS treatment was expanded, adult working hours increased and children’s nutritional status and school attendance improved.