Sanyu A. Mojola

Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs
Maurice P. During Professor of Demographic Studies

Sanyu A. Mojola is Maurice P. During Professor of Demographic Studies and Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs. She directed the Office of Population Research from July 2020-June 2024. She earned a first class joint honors BA degree from Durham University, UK, and a PhD from the University of Chicago where her dissertation won the Richard Saller Dissertation Prize given to the graduate whose dissertation is the most distinguished piece of scholarship across the Social Science Division of the University of Chicago in a given year. She was previously on the faculty of Sociology at the University of Michigan and the University of Colorado Boulder where she was a Gamm Teaching Fellow and was chosen as Faculty Mentor of the Year by sociology graduate students.  She has also been a Hutchins Fellow at the Du Bois Research Institute in the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.  

Her research examines how societies produce health and illness. She is especially interested in how gender, race/ethnicity, aging and the life course and socio-economic status shape health outcomes. She has investigated how social processes and mechanisms within schools, communities, labor markets, cities and eco-systems can lead to health inequality. Her past and ongoing work primarily focuses on the HIV/AIDS pandemic as it unfolds in various settings such as Kenya, the United States and South Africa.  Her first book, Love, Money and HIV: Becoming a Modern African Woman in the Age of AIDS (University of California Press, 2014) won multiple awards including the 2016 Distinguished Scholarly Book Award (Best Book of the Year) from the American Sociological Association. She is Principal Investigator of an NIH funded project called HIV after 40 in rural South Africa: Aging in the Context of an HIV/AIDS epidemic. Her team is investigating the causes and consequences of the HIV epidemic among middle aged and older adults as they age in rural post-apartheid South Africa. She is also working on her second book, under contract at University of California Press, which investigates the production of racial health inequality in the US, using the case of the HIV epidemic in Washington D.C.

She has served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Sociology, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Studies in Family Planning and a “Globalization in Everyday Life” Book Series at Stanford University Press. She has also served on the Board of Directors of Boulder County AIDS Project and as chair of its programs committee, and served as a Council member of the Sex and Gender Section of the American Sociological Association.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS (student co-authors italicized):

Mojola, Sanyu A, Nicole Angotti, Enid Schatz and Brian Houle 2021. “A Nowadays Disease”: HIV/AIDS and Social Change in a rural South African community. American Journal of Sociology, November 2021. 127(3), Forthcoming

Andrus, Emily, Sanyu A. Mojola, Beth Moran, Marisa Eisenberg, Jon Zelner. 2021. Has the relationship between wealth and HIV risk in Sub-Saharan Africa changed over time? A temporal, gendered and hierarchical analysis. Social Science and Medicine – Population Health,

Schatz, Enid, David Ifeolu, Nicole Angotti, F. Xavier Gomez-Olive, and Sanyu A. Mojola – 2021. From “Secret” to “Sensitive issue”: Shifting ideas about HIV disclosure among older rural South Africans in the era of antiretroviral treatment. Journal of Aging and Health,

Mojola, Sanyu A, Nicole Angotti, Danielle Denardo, Enid Schatz and F. Xavier Gómez-Olivé 2020. The End of AIDS?  HIV and the New Landscape of Illness in Rural South Africa. Global Public Health.

Gómez-Olivé F. Xavier, Brian Houle, Molly S. Rosenberg, Chodziwadziwa Kabudula, Sanyu A. Mojola, Julia K.Rohr, Samuel J. Clark, Nicole Angotti, Enid Schatz, Kathleen Kahn, Till Bärnighausen, Jane Menken. 2020. HIV Incidence among Older Adults in a Rural South African Setting: 2010-2015, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002404

Nutor, Jerry John, Jaime C.Slaughter-Acey, Patience A.Afulani, Moses M.Obimbo and Sanyu A. Mojola. 2020 – The Relationship between Counseling and Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy among Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women enrolled in Option B+, AIDS Education and Prevention 32(5):378-391. (doi: 10.1521/aeap.2020.32.5.378. PMID: 33112676).

Houle, Brian, Shao-Tzu Yu, Nicole Angotti, Enid Schatz, Chodziwadziwa W Kabudula, Francesc Xavier Gómez-Olivé, Samuel J. Clark, Jane Menken and Sanyu A. Mojola. 2020. Clusters of HIV Risk and Protective Sexual Behaviors in Agincourt, Rural South Africa: Findings from the Ha Nakekela Population-Based Study of Ages 15 and Older Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49(6): 2057-2068 (

Schatz, Enid, Lucia Knight, Robert Belli and Sanyu A. Mojola. 2020. Assessing the feasibility of a life history calendar to measure HIV risk and health in older South Africans. PLoS ONE 15(1): e0226024.(

Mojola, Sanyu A. and Nicole Angotti [joint first author]. 2019. “Sometimes it is not about men”: Gendered and Generational Discourses of Caregiving HIV transmission in a rural South African community. Global Public Health  (doi: 10.1080/17441692.2019.1606265)

Mojola, Sanyu A. and Joyce Wamoyi 2019. Contextual drivers of HIV risk among young African women  - Journal of the International AIDS Society. 22 (2019): e25302. (

Schatz, Enid, Brian Houle, Sanyu A. Mojola, Nicole Angotti, Jill Williams – 2019. How to “live a good life”: Aging and HIV testing in rural South Africa.  Journal of Aging and Health   31(4): 709-732