Short book available on Amazon, Apple Books, and Barnes and Noble sites: Facing COVID Without Panic: 12 Common Myths and 12 Lesser Known Facts about the Pandemic, Clearly Explained by an Epidemiologist. (

Halperin CV 2021

Tinderbox book site

Harvard AIDS Prevention Research Project (archived)



Before joining UNC-SPH in 2011 as an Adjunct Professor (equivalent Full Professor level), Dr. Halperin served on the faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health since 2006. Prior to that he was employed for over five years as the Senior HIV Prevention and Behavior Change Advisor at the US Agency for International Development. Dr. Halperin has conducted epidemiological and ethnographic research for forty years on a number of health and sociocultural issues in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and other developing regions. Since completing his doctoral training in medical and cultural anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1995, his work mainly focused on the heterosexual transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. He has had extensive involvement in the design, management and evaluation of prevention, care and other HIV-AIDS programs, and continues to be actively engaged in collaborative endeavors with UNAIDS, WHO, CDC, UNICEF, Gates Foundation and other international partners in developing and disseminating policy-setting technical consultations, guidance documents, etc. Most of Dr. Halperin’s former research and scientific publications (including many in leading publications such as The Lancet and Science) have dealt with some of the previously more neglected HIV co-factors, such as concurrent sexual partner networks, lack of male circumcision, “dry sex” practices, and lack of family planning services for HIV-positive pregnant women. Currently he has been focusing on the global obesity and chronic disease epidemics, particularly in Puerto Rico and elsewhere in Latin America, as well as addressing COVID-19. He has conducted field research and consultations over many years in a number of countries, including Brazil, South Africa, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Colombia, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and inner-city US communities, and he has an extensive background working with at-risk youth, particularly socially disadvantaged young men.


B.A. University of California at Berkeley, 1979, Economics; Development Studies (Honors)

M.S. University of California at Berkeley, 1982, Health and Medical Sciences

M.C.A.T. Hahnemann University/Medical College, 1992, Creative Arts/Movement Therapies

Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley, 1995, Medical and Cultural Anthropology, Latin American Studies

Postdoctoral Training. University of California at Berkeley (1995-1998), HIV/AIDS Epidemiology

Honors, Grants and Awards (partial list)

United States Department of Agriculture, Research grant for study of obesity prevention in Puerto Rican young adults, 2015-17.

Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO)/Ecuadorian government (Proyecto Prometeo), Research fellowship on obesity and other diet-related issues in the Andean region, 2013-2016.

The New York Times, “Editor’s Choice” selection for Tinderbox: How the West Sparked the AIDS Epidemic and How the World Can Finally Overcome It, by Craig Timberg and Daniel Halperin (Penguin Books), 2012.

United Nations Foundation, Research grant on international family planning policy (co-investigator Richard Cizik), 2011.

Hahnemann Medical College/Drexel University, Award for Service to Profession, 2008

USAID Office of HIV-AIDS, Superior Award for Outstanding Career Achievement, 2007

American Public Health Association, Best International Paper on HIV-AIDS, 2003

American Anthropological Association, Volney Stefflre Award for Best Scientific Paper, 1995

Courses Taught (selective/recent)

Harvard School of Public Health: HIV-AIDS in Developing Countries (GHP 267), Advanced Qualitative Methods and Data Analysis for Health Research (GHP 533).

Selected Publications

Halperin, D. Facing COVID Without Panic: 12 Common Myths and 12 Lesser Known Facts about the Pandemic, Clearly Explained by an Epidemiologist, 2020 (

Timberg, C. and Halperin, D.  Tinderbox: How the West Sparked the AIDS Epidemic and How the World Can Finally Overcome It.Penguin Books, 2012 (

Halperin, D.T. Coping with COVID-19: Learning from past pandemics to avoid pitfalls and panic. Global Health Science and Practice May 2020; 8(2)

Halperin, D.T. The case for reopening schools this fall. Washington Post, May 29, 2020.

2020 Halperin, D.T. The Covid-19 “natural experiment” that has already been conducted. SocArXiv.

Halperin, D. Puerto Rico’s man-made disasters will kill more people than natural catastrophes Miami Herald, January 20, 2020.

Halperin, D.T., Laux, J., LeFranc, C., Araujo, C., Palacios, C. Findings from a randomized trial of weight gain prevention among overweight Puerto Rican young adults, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2018 (

Halperin, D.T, Delgado, V., Jinez, P., Castillo, D., Paredes, M. Assessing a pilot intervention to (re)introduce regular household consumption of quinoa in a small Ecuadorian city. INSPILIP (Instituto Nacional de Investigacion de Salud Publica, Guayaquil, Ecuador); 1(1):1-15, 2017. (

Halperin, D.T.  Scaling-up family planning in Africa’s second largest country: Lessons from Ethiopia’s promising experience, Lancet, 2013.

Halperin, D.T., Mugurungi, O., Hallett T., Muchini, B., Campbell, B., Magure, T., Benedikt, C., Gregson, S.A.  A surprising prevention success: Why did the HIV epidemic decline in Zimbabwe? PLoS Medicine 2011, 8(2); doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000414.  [click here to access this article]

Berlan, D., Halperin, D.T.  Apparent displacement of global health funding priorities: Time for some difficult decisions? Social Science and Medicine 2011; doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.05.043.

Morris, B.J., Gray, R., Castellsagues, X, Bosch, F.X, Halperin. D.T.  The strong protective effect of circumcision against cancer of the penis. Advances in Urology 2011; doi:10.1155/2011/812368.

Muchini, B., Benedikt, C., Gomo, E., Mate, R., Mugurungi, O., Magure, T., Campbell, B., Halperin, D.T. (co-primary author).  Local perceptions of the forms, timing and causes of behavior change in response to the AIDS epidemic in Zimbabwe. AIDS and Behavior 2010, DOI 10.1007/s10461-010-9783-z. [click here to access this article]

Mah, T., Halperin, D.T.  Concurrent sexual partnerships and the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa: The evidence to move forward. AIDS and Behavior 2010, 14:11-16. [click here to access this article]

Halperin, D.T., Stover, J., Reynolds, H. Benefits and costs of expanding access to family planning programs to women living with HIV. AIDS 2009, 23:S123-S130.

Halperin, D.T., de Moya, A., Perez-Then, E., Pappas, G., Garcia Calleja, J.M. Understanding the HIV epidemic in the Dominican Republic: A prevention success story in the Caribbean? Journal of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome2009, 51(6):S52-59. [click here to access this article]

Mah, T., Halperin, D.T. The evidence for the role of concurrent partnerships in Africa’s HIV epidemics. AIDS and Behavior 2009, DOI 10.1007/s10461-009-9617-z.

Halperin, D.T.  Combination HIV prevention must be based on evidence. Lancet 2009, 373:544-45. [click here to access this article, free registration required]

Potts, M., Halperin, D.T. (co-primary author), Kirby, D., Swidler, A., Klausner. J., Marseille, E., Hearst, N., Wamai, R., Kahn, J., Walsh, J.  Reassessing HIV prevention. Science2008, 320:749-50. [click hereto access this article]

Halperin, D.T., Potts, M., Kirby, D., Klausner, J., Wamai, R., Swidler, A., Marseille, A., Walsh, J., Hearst, N. Response to DeLay and Prince. Science 2008, 321 (5896): 1632-4. [click here to access]

Ruark, A., Shelton, J., Halperin, D.T., Wawer, M., Gray, R.  Universal voluntary HIV testing and immediate antiretroviral therapy. Lancet2009, 373:1078 [click here to access this article, free registration required]

Kirby, D., Halperin, D.T. Success in Uganda: an analysis of behavior changes that led to declines in HIV prevalence in the early 1990s. ETR Associates, 2008. [click here to access this report as well as other reports in the “Success in Uganda” series]

Wilson, D., Halperin, D.T.  “Know your epidemic, know your response”: A useful approach – if we get it right. Lancet 2008, 372:423-26. [click here to access, free registration required]

Mah, T., Halperin, D.T. Concurrent sexual partnerships and the HIV epidemic in Africa: The evidence to move forward. AIDS and Behavior 2008, DOI 10.1007/s10461-008-9433-x. [click here to access]

Wamai, R.G., Weiss, H.A., Hankins, C., Agot, K., Abdool Karim, Q., Shisana, O., Otolorin, E.O., Kapiga, S., Serwadda, D.M., Sanchez, J., Pape, J.W., Mabuza, K., Bowa, K., Kebaabetswe, P., Wilson, D., Simelane, D., Morris, B., Sawires, Phiri, M., Setswe, G., Sewankambo, N.,Heywood, M., Woelk, G., Ntaganira, I., Cates, W., Rees, H., Diallo, M.O., Makhubele, M.B., Leclerc-Madlala, L., Jackson, H., Dludlu, S., Kalambayi Kayembe, P., Nyamucherera, O.F., Bongaarts, J., Geffen, N., Heywood, M., Ncala, J. Betukumesu, B., Kintaudi, L, Salang Seloilwe, Zungu, N., E., Ruiz, M., Venter, F., Micheni, K., de Moya, E.A., Cash, R., Bailey, R.C., Halperin, D.T. (co-primary author)  Male circumcision is an efficacious, lasting and cost-effective strategy for combating HIV in high-prevalence AIDS epidemics: Time to move beyond debating the science. Future HIV Therapy 2008, 2(5): 399-405. [click here to access]

Weiss H.A., Halperin, D.T., Bailey R.C., Hayes R., Schmid, G., Hankins, C.  Male circumcision for HIV prevention: From evidence to action? AIDS 2008, 22:567-74. [can be accessed for a fee]

Klausner, J., Wamai, R., Bowa, K., Agot, K., Kagimba, J., Halperin, D.T. (co-primary author)  Is male circumcision as good as the HIV vaccine we’ve been waiting for? Future HIV Therapy 2008, 2:1-7 [clickhere to access]

Halperin, D.T., Epstein, H.  Why is HIV prevalence so severe in southern Africa? The role of multiple concurrent partnerships and lack of male circumcision. Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine 2007, 26:19-25. [click here to access]

Drain, P.K., Halperin, D.T., Hughes, J.P., Klausner, J., Bailey, R.C.  Male circumcision, religion, and infectious diseases: An ecologic analysis of 118 developing countries. Bio-Med-Central Infect Dis. 2006, 6(1):172. [click here to access]

Shelton, J.D., Halperin, D.T., Wilson, D.  Has global HIV incidence peaked? Lancet 2006, 367:1120-22. [click here to access, free registration required]

Green, E.C., Halperin, D.T. (co-primary author), Nantulya, V., Hogle, J.A.  Uganda’s HIV prevention success: The role of sexual behavior change and the national response. AIDS and Behavior 2006, 10:335-46. [click here to access]

Halperin, D.T., Fritz, K., McFarland, W., Woelk, G.  The feasibility of adult male circumcision for HIV prevention in Zimbabwe. Sexually Transmitted Diseases 2005, 32:238-39.[click here to access]

Halperin, D.T., Steiner, M., Cassell, M., Green, E.C., Hearst, N., Kirby, D., Gayle H., Cates, W., et al. [149 signers in total].  The time has come for common ground on preventing sexual transmission of HIV. Lancet 2004, 364:1913-15. [click here to access, free registration required]

Halperin, D.T., Post, G.L.  Global HIV prevalence: The good news might be even better. Lancet 2004, 364:1035-36.[click here to access, free registration required]

Shelton, J.D., Halperin, D.T. (co-primary author), Nantulya, V., Potts, M., Gayle, H.D., Holmes, K.K.  Partner reduction is crucial for balanced “ABC” approach to HIV prevention. British Medical Journal 2004, 328:891-94. [click here to access]

Halperin, D.T., Bailey, R.C.  Male circumcision and HIV infection: Ten years and counting. Lancet 1999, 354:1813-15. [click here to access]

Halperin, D.T.  Heterosexual anal intercourse: Prevalence, cultural factors, and HIV infection and other health risks, part I. AIDS Patient Care 1999,13(12):717-30.

Halperin, D.T  Putting a plague in perspective. New York Times, January 1, 2008, p. A19. [click here to access]

Halperin, D.T.  AIDS prevention: What works? Washington Post, October 22, 2007, p. A23. [click hereto access]