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Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

  Dr Lesley Gittings









Lesley  Gittings  was a doctoral student from 2015-2019 within ASRU and the School of Public Health and Family Medicine, co-supervised by Dr. Rebecca Hodes and Assoc. Prof Christopher Colvin. Her PhD research, conducted as part of the Mzantsi Wakho study, focused on the way that adolescent boys living with HIV engage with biomedical and traditional health services. Lesley was a fellow of the South African Social Science and HIV Programme (SASH). In 2019/20, she is a postdoctoral fellow at ASRU, working on the development of a pictogram to support adherence to antiretrovirals. Her broader research interests include sexual health and HIV, gender, and biomedical and traditional understandings of health and wellness.


Dr. Mumta Hargovan








Dr. Mumta Hargovan is a medical doctor completing a Masters in Public Health, in the Health Systems and Policy Division at UCT. She is a fellow of the South African Social Sciences and HIV Programme (SASH). In 2020, she is a postgraduate student at ASRU, working on the development of a pictogram to support adherence to antiretrovirals. Her research interests include HIV, gender, and health systems and policy analysis.









Siyanai Zhou is a quantitative researcher with Mzantsi Wakho and an ASRU PhD fellow. His research, which uses the Mzantsi Wakho study data, focus on modelling medication–taking behavior patterns of adolescents living with HIV and the associated health outcomes. Siyanai has both experience in the application of Advanced Statistical methodologies and Demographic techniques in Health Social Science. He has also been directly involved in the data cleaning process of the study data, the world’s largest cohort study of HIV-positive adolescents at the AIDS and Society Research Unit. Together with Dr. Elona Toska, his supervisor, they have conceptualized a study on refining a symptom-based TB screening approach among HIV-positive adolescents in South Africa, which could have applications in primary healthcare provision and screening.

Contact details: zhou.siyah@gmail.com


Chantal Fowler










Chantal Fowler is a Clinical Psychologist and Sexologist in private practice. She completed her Master’s in Clinical Psychology at Stellenbosch University and her certification in Psycho-Sexology at the European Society for Sexual Medicine. She is a PhD fellow of the BRIDGES programme in the School of Public Health and Family medicine at the University of Cape Town. She is being supervised by Dr. Alison Swartz and Dr. Rebecca Hodes. Her PhD aims to explore the use of “Theory of Change” in a Global Fund Combination HIV intervention aimed at Adolescent Girls and Young Women and how change is experienced by its role-players. Chantal’s further research interests centre around the integration of  Sex-positive messaging into Public Health Policy. Chantal’s professional development interest focuses on providing Health Care Workers with training in the field of sexual health.