Akshay Sharma, MBBS, MPH, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences
Room 3343 400NIB

University of Michigan School of Nursing
400 North Ingalls Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5482

Telephone: (734) 647-0151
Fax: (734) 763-0681
Akshay Sharma is not accepting new PhD students.


  • HIV and STD prevention
  • Epidemiology
  • Sexual minority health
  • Vulnerable populations
  • Infectious diseases

Trained as a physician and an epidemiologist, Dr. Sharma’s research interests include examining new approaches for increasing the frequency of HIV and STD testing among men who have sex with men in the United States, with a focus on telehealth and home self-testing. He is also interested in evaluating behavioral and biomedical interventions for HIV prevention, and epidemiologic study design and methodological issues such as identifying analytical approaches to improve the detection of true underlying benefits of primary prevention strategies. Before moving to the United States, Dr. Sharma was involved in community HIV and STD risk reduction activities such as encouraging safe sex and promoting the use of barrier contraceptives in rural areas in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

Current Research Grants and Programs

  • Project Caboodle: Acceptability and Feasibility of Self-collecting Biological Specimens among High-risk Populations. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) (PI: R21).
  • iSTAMP: Web-based Approaches to Reach Black or African American and Hispanic/Latino MSM for HIV Testing and Prevention Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Co-I: CDC Cooperative Agreement).


Dr. Sharma strives for effectiveness and excellence in his pedagogical techniques. He employs an interactive approach in the classroom which emphasizes active participation using mobile and online technologies. Dr. Sharma has taught various graduate level epidemiology courses and labs at Emory University. He is currently teaching a graduate level course on research methods in sexual health and HIV/STD prevention, and co-teaching the undergraduate level  pathophysiology course for nursing students. The combination of Dr. Sharma’s medical and epidemiological training allow him to bring a unique perspective to these subjects. He has worked closely with students from varying academic, cultural, and demographic backgrounds, and believes that engaging them in a supportive environment facilitates better learning and enhances retention.

Affiliations / Service

  • International AIDS Society, 2015 - present
  • Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, 2010 - present

Notable Awards / Honors

  • Texas HIV/STD Student Research Award, Texas Public Health Association and Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, TX, 2014
  • Network Modeling for Epidemics Fellow, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2014
  • Honorary Member, Emory University’s Phi Chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, 2009


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA, 2016
  • PhD, Epidemiology, Emory University Laney Graduate School, Atlanta, GA, 2015
  • MPH, Epidemiology, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA, 2010
  • MBBS, Medicine and Surgery, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore, India, 2006

Publication Highlights

  • Sharma, A., Kahle, E., Sullivan, S., Stephenson, R. (2018). Birth cohort variations across functional knowledge of HIV prevention strategies, perceived risk, and HIV-associated behaviors among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in the United States. American Journal of Men’s Health, 12(6): 1824-1834.

  • Shaver, J., Sharma, A., Stephenson, R. (2018) Rural primary care providers’ experiences and knowledge regarding LGBTQ health in a Midwestern State. The Journal of Rural Health.

  • Kahle, E. M., Sharma, A., Sullivan, S. P., Stephenson, R. (2018). HIV prioritization and risk perception among an online sample of men who have sex with men in the United States. American Journal of Men’s Health.

  • Wesolowski, L., Chavez, P., Sullivan, P., Freeman, A., Sharma, A., Mustanski, B., McNaghten, A.D., MacGowan, R. (2018). Distribution of HIV self-tests by HIV-positive men who have sex with men to social and sexual contacts. AIDS and Behavior.

  • Sharma, A., Chavez, P. R., MacGowan, R. J., McNaghten, A. D., Mustanski, B., Gravens, L., Freeman, A. E., & Sullivan, P.S. (2017). Willingness to distribute free rapid home HIV test kits and to test with social or sexual network associates among men who have sex with men in the United States. AIDS Care, 29(12): 1499-1503.

  • Sharma, A., Sullivan, S. P., & Stephenson, R. B. (2017). Detailed knowledge about HIV epidemiology and transmission dynamics and their associations with preventive and risk behaviors among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in the United States. JMIR Public Health and Surveillance, 3(1): e11.

  • Sharma, A., Wang, L., Dunville, R., Valencia, R., Rosenberg, E. S., & Sullivan, P. S. (2017). HIV and sexually transmitted disease testing behavior among adolescent sexual minority males: Analysis of pooled Youth Risk Behavior Survey data, 2005-2013. LGBT Health, 4(2): 130-140.

  • Jenness, S. M., Sharma, A., Goodreau, S. M., Rosenberg, E. S., Weiss, K. M., Hoover, K. W., Smith, D.K., & Sullivan, P. S. (2017). Individual HIV risk versus population impact of risk compensation after HIV preexposure prophylaxis initiation among men who have sex with men. PLOS ONE, 12(1), e0169484.

  • Johnson, B. A., McKenney, J., Ricca, A. V., Rosenberg, E. S., Liu, C., Sharma, A., & Sullivan, P. S. (2016). Risk factors associated with repeated HIV testing among internet-using men who have sex with men. AIDS Education and Prevention, 28(6), 511-523.

  • Shah, M., Perry, A., Risher, K., Kapoor, S., Grey, J., Sharma, A., Rosenberg, E.S., Del Rio, C., Sullivan, P. & Dowdy, D. W. (2016). Effect of the US National HIV/AIDS Strategy targets for improved HIV care engagement: A modelling study. The Lancet HIV, 3(3), e140-e146.

  • Sharma, A., Johnson, B. A., & Sullivan, P. S. (2015). Evaluating interventions to promote routine preventive screenings: A comparison of analytical outcomes. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 41, 152-159.

  • Spaulding, A. C., Sharma, A., Messina, L. C., Zlotorzynska, M., Miller, L., & Binswanger, I. A. (2015). A comparison of liver disease mortality with HIV and overdose mortality among Georgia prisoners and releasees: a 2-decade cohort study of prisoners incarcerated in 1991. American Journal of Public Health, 105(5), e51-e57.

  • Sharma, A., Stephenson, R. B., White, D., & Sullivan, P. S. (2014). Acceptability and intended usage preferences for six HIV testing options among internet-using men who have sex with men. Springerplus, 3(1), 109.

  • Rogers, C., Sharma, A., Rimland, D., Stafford, C., Jernigan, J., Satola, S., Crispell, E. & Gaynes, R. (2014). Duration of colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in an acute care facility: a study to assess epidemiologic features. American Journal of Infection Control, 42(3), 249-253.

  • Sharma, A., Rogers, C., Rimland, D., Stafford, C., Satola, S., Crispell, E., & Gaynes, R. (2013). Post-discharge mortality in patients hospitalized with MRSA infection and/or colonization. Epidemiology and Infection, 141(06), 1187-1198.

  • Sharma, A., Sullivan, P. S., & Khosropour, C. M. (2011). Willingness to take a free home HIV test and associated factors among internet-using men who have sex with men. Journal of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (JIAPAC), 10(6), 357-364.