Kathleen J. Sikkema

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., Gosnell Family Professor of Global Health, Psychology and Neuroscience, 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 over 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

Knettel, BA, Mulawa, MI, Knippler, ET, Ciya, N, Robertson, C, Joska, JA, and Sikkema, KJ. "Women's perspectives on ImpACT: a coping intervention to address sexual trauma and improve HIV care engagement in Cape Town, South Africa." Aids Care (March 2019): 1-8. Full Text

Choi, KW, Houts, R, Arseneault, L, Pariante, C, Sikkema, KJ, and Moffitt, TE. "Maternal depression in the intergenerational transmission of childhood maltreatment and its sequelae: Testing postpartum effects in a longitudinal birth cohort." Development and Psychopathology 31.1 (February 2019): 143-156. Full Text

Watt, MH, Knippler, ET, Knettel, BA, Sikkema, KJ, Ciya, N, Myer, L, and Joska, JA. "HIV Disclosure Among Pregnant Women Initiating ART in Cape Town, South Africa: Qualitative Perspectives During the Pregnancy and Postpartum Periods." Aids and Behavior 22.12 (December 2018): 3945-3956. Full Text

Fletcher, OV, May, PA, Seedat, S, Sikkema, KJ, and Watt, MH. "Attitudes toward alcohol use during pregnancy among women recruited from alcohol-serving venues in Cape Town, South Africa: A mixed-methods study." Social Science & Medicine (1982) 215 (October 2018): 98-106. Full Text

Cherenack, EM, Sikkema, KJ, Watt, MH, Hansen, NB, and Wilson, PA. "Avoidant Coping Mediates the Relationship Between Self-Efficacy for HIV Disclosure and Depression Symptoms Among Men Who Have Sex with Men Newly Diagnosed with HIV." Aids and Behavior 22.10 (October 2018): 3130-3140. Full Text

Weisburd, D, Cave, B, Nelson, M, White, C, Haviland, A, Ready, J, Lawton, B, and Sikkema, K. "Mean Streets and Mental Health: Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at Crime Hot Spots." American Journal of Community Psychology 61.3-4 (June 2018): 285-295. Full Text

Rai, S, Gurung, D, Kaiser, BN, Sikkema, KJ, Dhakal, M, Bhardwaj, A, Tergesen, C, and Kohrt, BA. "A service user co-facilitated intervention to reduce mental illness stigma among primary healthcare workers: Utilizing perspectives of family members and caregivers." Families, Systems & Health : the Journal of Collaborative Family Healthcare 36.2 (June 2018): 198-209. Full Text

Sikkema, KJ, Choi, KW, Robertson, C, Knettel, BA, Ciya, N, Knippler, ET, Watt, MH, and Joska, JA. "Development of a coping intervention to improve traumatic stress and HIV care engagement among South African women with sexual trauma histories." Evaluation and Program Planning 68 (June 2018): 148-156. Full Text

Sikkema, KJ, Mulawa, MI, Robertson, C, Watt, MH, Ciya, N, Stein, DJ, Cherenack, EM, Choi, KW, Kombora, M, and Joska, JA. "Improving AIDS Care After Trauma (ImpACT): Pilot Outcomes of a Coping intervention Among HIV-Infected Women with Sexual Trauma in South Africa." Aids and Behavior 22.3 (March 2018): 1039-1052. Full Text

Mulaudzi, M, Dlamini, BN, Coetzee, J, Sikkema, K, Gray, G, and Dietrich, JJ. "Perceptions of counsellors and youth-serving professionals about sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents in Soweto, South Africa." Reproductive Health 15.1 (February 6, 2018): 21-null. Full Text


Miles, MS, Holditch-Davis, D, Pedersen, C, J.Eron, J, and Schwartz, T. "Emotional distress in african american women with hiv." 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)

Sikkema, KJ, Meade, CS, Doughty Berry, JD, Zimmerman, SO, Kloos, B, and Snow, DL. "Community-level HIV prevention for persons with severe mental illness living in supportive housing programs: a pilot intervention study." HIV: Issues with Mental Health and Illness. Ed. Eisenberg, MM and Blank, MB.: The Hawthorne Press, Inc.. 2007. 121-135. (Essay) Full Text

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, 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

Sociobehavioral Sciences Research to Improve Care for HIV Infection in Tanzania awarded by National Institutes of Health (Investigator). 2013 to 2023

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

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

Community-sourced Interventions for Global Mental Health awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Sponsor). 2017 to 2018

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