Kathleen J. Sikkema

Gosnell Family Professor in Global Health

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Virginia Polytech Institute and State University 1991

  • M.S., Virginia Polytech Institute and State University 1988

  • M.S., Illinois State University 1987

  • B.A., Central University of Iowa 1984


Kathleen J. Sikkema, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Global Health, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University, is a clinical psychologist with emphases in health and community psychology. She is the Director of Doctoral Studies at the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI), Director of the Social and Behavioral Science Core in Duke's Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), and Director of the Global Mental Health Initiative at DGHI

Dr. Sikkema, an expert in randomized, controlled HIV prevention and mental health intervention trials, has been supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for nearly 25 years. She conducts research on the development of HIV-related mental health interventions focused on traumatic stress and coping. Sikkema's intervention programs have been recognized by the CDC as "best evidence interventions" as well as the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

Dr. Sikkema's research is also focused on the development and evaluation of HIV risk behavior change interventions, with expertise in community-level intervention trials and university-community collaboration. She recently developed and evaluated a brief risk reduction intervention (PC: Positive Choices), in collaboration with the Callen Lorde Community Health Center, for those newly diagnosed with HIV, with implications for engagement in care and HIV prevention.

Dr. Sikkema's current research is focused in South Africa, collaborating with various South African universities since 2001. Building on prior work with abused women, she recently completed a multi-method longitudinal study to inform development of innovative intervention approaches related to gender, HIV risk and alcohol use in South Africa. Dr. Sikkema's current efforts are focused on the development of mental health interventions that address the intersection of HIV care engagement and HIV prevention.


HIV, global mental health, clinical psychology, community intervention trials, HIV prevention, global health, gender

Watt, MH, Dennis, AC, Choi, KW, Ciya, N, Joska, JA, Robertson, C, and Sikkema, KJ. "Impact of Sexual Trauma on HIV Care Engagement: Perspectives of Female Patients with Trauma Histories in Cape Town, South Africa." AIDS and behavior 21.11 (November 2017): 3209-3218. Full Text

Velloza, J, Watt, MH, Abler, L, Skinner, D, Kalichman, SC, Dennis, AC, and Sikkema, KJ. "HIV-Risk Behaviors and Social Support Among Men and Women Attending Alcohol-Serving Venues in South Africa: Implications for HIV Prevention." AIDS and behavior 21.Suppl 2 (November 2017): 144-154. Full Text

Skalski, LM, Towe, SL, Sikkema, KJ, and Meade, CS. "Memory Impairment in HIV-Infected Individuals with Early and Late Initiation of Regular Marijuana Use." AIDS and behavior (September 7, 2017). Full Text

Magidson, JF, Dietrich, J, Otwombe, KN, Sikkema, KJ, Katz, IT, and Gray, GE. "Psychosocial correlates of alcohol and other substance use among low-income adolescents in peri-urban Johannesburg, South Africa: A focus on gender differences." Journal of health psychology 22.11 (September 2017): 1415-1425. Full Text

Vincent, W, Fang, X, Calabrese, SK, Heckman, TG, Sikkema, KJ, and Hansen, NB. "HIV-related shame and health-related quality of life among older, HIV-positive adults." Journal of behavioral medicine 40.3 (June 2017): 434-444. Full Text

Choi, KW, Sikkema, KJ, Vythilingum, B, Geerts, L, Faure, SC, Watt, MH, Roos, A, and Stein, DJ. "Maternal childhood trauma, postpartum depression, and infant outcomes: Avoidant affective processing as a potential mechanism." Journal of affective disorders 211 (March 2017): 107-115. Full Text

Skalski, LM, Towe, SL, Sikkema, KJ, and Meade, CS. "The Impact of Marijuana Use on Memory in HIV-Infected Patients: A Comprehensive Review of the HIV and Marijuana Literatures." Current drug abuse reviews 9.2 (January 2017): 126-141. Full Text

Watt, MH, Mosha, MV, Platt, AC, Sikkema, KJ, Wilson, SM, Turner, EL, and Masenga, GG. "A nurse-delivered mental health intervention for obstetric fistula patients in Tanzania: results of a pilot randomized controlled trial." Pilot and Feasibility Studies 3 (January 2017): 35-. Full Text

Choi, KW, and Sikkema, KJ. "Childhood Maltreatment and Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders: A Systematic Review." Trauma, violence & abuse 17.5 (December 2016): 427-453. (Review) Full Text

Willie, TC, Overstreet, NM, Peasant, C, Kershaw, T, Sikkema, KJ, and Hansen, NB. "Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms Among People Living with HIV and Childhood Sexual Abuse: The Role of Shame and Posttraumatic Growth." AIDS and behavior 20.8 (August 2016): 1609-1620. Full Text


Miles, MS, Holditch-Davis, D, Pedersen, C, J Eron, J, Schwartz, T, Sikkema, KJ, Meade, CS, Doughty-Berry, JD, Zimmerman, SO, Kloos, B, and Snow, DL. "Emotional distress in african american women with hivCommunity-level hiv prevention for persons with severe mental illness living in supportive housing programs: A pilot intervention study (PublishedPublished)." HIV: Issues with Mental Health and Illness. January 1, 2014. 35-50. Full Text

Sikkema, KJ, Stein, DJ, and Joska, J. "Traumatic stressors and the psychoneuroimmunology of HIV/AIDS." HIV/AIDS and Psychiatry. Ed. J Joska, D Stein, and I Grant. New York: Wiley, 2014. (Essay)

Tarakeshwar, N, Kalichman, SC, Simbayi, LC, and Sikkema, KJ. "HIV prevention needs: Primary prevention and prevention for people living with HIV/AIDS." Public Health Aspects of HIV/AIDS in Low and Middle Income Countries: Epidemiology, Prevention and Care. December 1, 2008. 19-40. Full Text

Sikkema, KJ, Kelly, JA, and Holtgrave, DR. "Behavioral interventions for prevention of STDs and HIV infection at the community level." Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Ed. KK Holmes and et al. The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2008. 1849-1856. (Essay)

Hansen, NB, and Sikkema, KJ. "Treating posttraumatic stress disorder in people with HIV." Focus: A Guide to AIDS Research and Counseling. April 2006. 5-6.

Sikkema, KJ, Heckman, TG, and Kochman, A. "Depressive symptoms in older adults living with HIV disease." HIV/AIDS and Older Adults: Challenges for Individuals, Families, and Communities. Ed. C Emlet. New York: Springer Publishing Co., 2004. 37-54. (Essay)

Sikkema, KJ, and Kailchman, SC. "HIV/AIDS." Clinical Handbook of Health Psychology: A Practical Guide to Effective Interventions. Ed. P Camic and S Knight. Seattle: Hogrefe & Huber Publishers, 2004. 167-182. (Essay)

Sikkema, KJ. "HIV prevention among young adults." Applied Developmental Science: An Encyclopedia of Research, Policies, and Programs. Ed. C Fisher and R Lerner. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2004. (Essay)

Sikkema, KJ, Kalichman, SC, and Somlai, AM. "Community involvement in HIV-AIDS prevention." Integrating Behavioral and Social Sciences in Public Health. Ed. N Schneiderman, M Speers, J Silva, H Tomes, and J Gentry. Washington,D.C.: American Psychological Association, 2001. 159-175. (Essay)

Sikkema, KJ, Wagner, LI, and Bogart, LM. "Gender and cultural factors in the prevention of HIV infection among women." Handbook of Gender, Culture, and Health. Ed. RM Eisler and M Hersen. Lawrence Eribaum and Associates, Inc., 2000. 299-319. (Essay)


Sikkema, KJ, Kochman, A, van den Berg, JJ, Hansen, NB, and Watt, MH. LIFT: Living in the face of trauma - An intervention for coping with HIV and trauma. Duke University, 2009.


Sikkema, KJ. "Review of AIDS: Sexual Behavior and Intravenous Drug Use." Annals of Behavioral Medicine 12 (1990): 86-87. (Review)

Sikkema, KJ. "Assessment and treatment of depression in HIV disease, Review of HIV and Depression: Context and Care." Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books 49: 58-59. (Review)

Selected Grants

Interdisciplinary Research Training Program in AIDS awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2010 to 2020

Pilot Study to Improve Access to Early Intervention for Autism in Africa awarded by National Institutes of Health (Collaborator). 2015 to 2020

Integrating Mental Health into HIV Clinic to Improve Outcomes in Tanzanian Youth awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Mentor). 2015 to 2020

Community-sourced Interventions for Global Mental Health awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Sponsor). 2017 to 2019

Addressing High Risk Alcohol Use Amongst Injury Patients in an Emergency Department in Tanzania awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2015 to 2019

Sociobehavioral Sciences Research to Improve Care for HIV Infection in Tanzania awarded by National Institutes of Health (Investigator). 2013 to 2019

Improving the health of South African women with traumatic stress in HIV care awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2018

Developing a Measure of Caregiver Readiness to Disclose HIV Serostatus awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2014 to 2017

Reducing Barriers to Mental Health Task Sharing: Stigma Reduction in Primary Care awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2014 to 2017

Development of Mental Health Treatment for Obstetric Fistula Patients awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2013 to 2016