Prof Nicoli Nattrass

Prof Nicoli NattrassDirector: AIDS and Society Research Unit
Professor, School of Economics

Prof Nicoli Nattrass has been in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town since 1991. During this time she has also held visiting appointments at Yale and Oxford. She has an undergraduate degree from Stellenbosch, an honours degree from UCT, a masters degree from the then University of Natal (now UKZN), and a masters in development economics and a doctorate (on Wages, Profits and Apartheid) from Oxford. She has won the UCT distinguished teachers award (in 2001) and her book ‘The Moral Economy of AIDS in South Africa’ won the UCT book award (in 2005) and the Venter Award (2008). She has published widely in the areas of economic policy and the political-economy of AIDS. She is author of 60 journal articles and 5 books. Recent publications include:

Contact details


Recent publications

Articles in academic journals (since 2006)

  • Nattrass N. 2006. Trading off Income and Health: AIDS and the Disability Grant in South Africa, in the Journal of Social Policy, 35 (1), January: 3-19.
  • Nattrass, N. 2006. “What determines Cross-Country Access to Antiretroviral Treatment?”, in Development Policy Review (May), vol.24, no.3: 321-337.
  • Nattrass, N. 2006. “South Africa’s ‘Rollout’ of Antiretroviral Treatment: A Critical Assessment”, in Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, vol.43, no.5, December 15, 2006: 618-623.
  • Magruder, J. and N. Nattrass. 2006. ‘Exploring Attrition Bias: The Case of the Khayelitsha Panel Study (2000-2004)’, in South African Journal of Economics, vol.74 (4), December 2006: 769-781.
  • Nattrass, N. 2007. “Modelling the relationship between antiretroviral treatment and HIV prevention: Limitations of the Spectrum AIDS Impact Model in a changing policy environment” , in African Journal of AIDS Research, vol.6, no.2: 129-137.
  • Nattrass, N. 2008. ‘AIDS and the Scientific Governance of Medicine in Post-Apartheid South Africa’, in African Affairs, 107 (427); 157-176.
  • Nattrass, N. 2008. ‘Gender and Access to Antiretrovirals in South Africa’, in Feminist Economics, vol.14, no.4: 19-36.
  • Nattrass, N. 2008. “Are Country Reputations for Good and Bad AIDS Leadership Deserved? An Exploratory Quantitative Analysis”, in Journal of Public Health, vol.30, no.4: 398-406.
  • Nattrass, N. 2008. “The (Political) Economics of Antiretroviral Treatment in Developing Countries, in Trends in Microbiology, vol.16, no.12: 574-578.
  • Nattrass, N. 2009. “Poverty, Sex and HIV”, in AIDS and Behaviour, 13: 833-40.
  • Nattrass, N. 2010. “Still Crazy after all these Years: The Challenge of AIDS Denialism for Science”, in AIDS and Behaviour, vol.14, no.2: 248-251.
  • Venkataramani, A., Maughan-Brown, M., Nattrass, N. and J. Prah Ruger. 2010. “Social Grants, Welfare and the Incentive to Trade-off Health for Income among Individuals on HAART in South Africa”, in AIDS and Behaviour, 14: 1393-1400.
  • Nattrass, N. 2010. “Cultural obstacles to the rollout of antiretrovirals: An exploratory cross-country analysis,” in African Journal of AIDS Research, vol.9, no.3: 201-209.
  • Nattrass, N. 2011. “Defending the boundaries of Science: AIDS denialism, peer review and the Medical Hypotheses Saga.” Sociology of Health and Illness, vol.33, no.4: 507-521.
  • Seekings, J. and N. Nattrass. 2011. “State-Business Relations and Pro-Poor Growth in South Africa” in Journal of International Development, vol.23, no.3: 338-357.
  • Nattrass, N. 2011. The new growth path: Game changing vision or cop out?, in The South African Journal of Science, vol.107, no.3/4: Art. #638, 8 pages. DOI: 10.4102/sajs.v107i3/4.638
  • Maughan-Brown, B., Venkataramani, A., Nattrass, N., Seekings J., and A. Whiteside, ‘A cut above the rest: Traditional Male Circumcision and HIV Risk Among Xhosa men in Cape Town, South Africa’, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (J.AIDS) 58,5 (Dec 2011): 499-505.
  • Grebe, E. And N. Nattrass. 2012. “AIDS conspiracy beliefs and unsafe sex in Cape Town”, AIDS and Behavior, vol.16, issue3: 761-773 (published online: 3 May 2011. DOI: 10.1007/s10461-011-9958-2).
  • Nattrass, N., Maughan-Brown, B., Seekings, J. and A. Whiteside. 2012. ‘Poverty, sexual behaviour, gender and HIV infection among young black men and women in Cape Town, South Africa’, in African Journal of AIDS Research, 11(4): 307-317.
  • Nunn, A., Dickman, S., Nattrass, N., Cornwall, A. and S. Gruskin. 2012. ‘The impacts of AIDS movements on the policy responses to HIV/AIDS in Brazil and South Africa: A Comparative Analysis’. Global Public Health. vol.7, no.10: 1031-1044.
  • Nattrass, N. 2013. ‘Understanding the origins and prevalence of AIDS conspiracy beliefs in the United States and South Africa’. Sociology of Health and Illness, published online 25 April: DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2012.01480 page 1-17. Forthcoming in the printed edition, vol.31, no.1: 113-129.
  • Nattrass, N. 2013. US Foreign Aid and the African AIDS epidemic. Yale Journal of International Affairs, vol. 8 (1): 52-61. Available on:

Books (since 2004)

  • Nattrass, N. 2004 The Moral Economy of AIDS in South Africa, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (reprinted in 2006).
  • Seekings, J. and N. Nattrass. 2005. Class, Race and Inequality in South Africa, Yale University Press, New Haven. The South African edition was brought out by University of KwaZulu-Natal Press in 2006.
  • Nattrass, N. 2007. Mortal Combat: AIDS Denialism and the Struggle for Antiretrovirals in South Africa, University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.
  • Nattrass, N. 2012. The AIDS Conspiracy: Science Fights Back, Columbia University Press, New York (and Wits University Press, Johannesburg).
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