Akshay Sharma, MBBS, MPH, PhD

Akshay Sharma

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 currently teaches courses on pathophysiology, microbiology and infectious diseases for undergraduate 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. (2019). Relationship characteristics associated with perceptions of partners’ HIV testing behavior among male couples. AIDS and Behavior, 1-16.

  • Sharma, A., Shaver, J., & Stephenson, R. (2019). Rural primary care providers' attitudes towards sexual and gender minorities in a Midwestern state in the USA. Rural and Remote Health, 19(4), 5476.

  • Sharma, A., Stephenson, R., Sallabank, G., Merrill, L., Sullivan, S., & Gandhi M. (2019). Acceptability and feasibility of self-collecting biological specimens for HIV, sexually transmitted infection, and adherence testing among high-risk populations (Project Caboodle!): Protocol for an exploratory mixed methods study. JMIR Research Protocols, 8(5), e13647.

  • Sharma, A., Garofalo, R., Hidalgo, M.A., Hoehnle, S., Mimiaga, M.J., Brown, E., Thai, J., Bratcher, A., Wimbly, T., Sullivan, P.S., & Stephenson, R. (2019). Do male couples agree on their sexual agreements? An analysis of dyadic data. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 48(4), 1203-1216.

  • Sharma, A., Kahle, E., Todd, K., Peitzmeier, S., & Stephenson, R. (2019). Variations in testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections across gender identity among transgender youth. Transgender Health, 4(1), 46-57.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.