Dr Catherine MacPhail

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Collaborative Research Network - CRN - Mental Health; School of Rural Medicine

Phone: +61 2 6773 3857

Email: catherine.macphail@une.edu.au


Dr Catherine MacPhail is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the Collaborative Research Network and holds a honorary Lecturer position at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and is a Visiting Fellow of the Centre for Social Research in Health, University of New South Wales. She currently tutors Public Health in the School of Rural Medicine. Dr MacPhail's main focus is on research. She is currently co-principal investigator of a large National Institutes of Health study facilitated through the HIV Prevention Trials Network examining the impact of conditional cash transfers and community mobilization on HIV risk among rural adolescent South African women. Additionally, she is working on Ageing and HIV in Africa and sexual health of Australian Aboriginal adolescents. She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters. Dr MacPhail has supervised PhD students to completion.


PhD – University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

MSc - University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

BA(Hons) - University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


Reviewer for:

African Journal of AIDS Research; Agenda; AIDs Care; BioMed Central; BMC Women's Health; BMJ One; Culture, Health & Sexuality; Globalization and Health; Health Education & Behavior; International Migration; International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health; Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health; Journal of the International AIDS Society; PloS ONE; Sexual Health; Sexually Transmitted Infections; Social Science and Medicine; Society in Transition; South East Asian Journal of Public Health; Studies in Family Planning; Tropical Medicine and International Health; Women & Health.

Teaching Areas

Public Health

Qualitative research methods, mixed methods, behavioural interventions for HIV & STI prevention

Research Interests

HIV prevention interventions for adolescent women in South Africa

Structural drivers of HIV in developing countries

HIV, Ageing and mental health

Sexual health of rural Aboriginal adolescents

Research Grants:

HPTN 068: Effect of cash transfer for the prevention of HIV in young South African women

UNE Partnerships grant: Examining the lived experience of ageing with HIV in South AfricaUNE Seed grant: Understanding sexuality and sexual health of Aboriginal adolescents.



Terris-Prestholt F, Hanson K, MacPhail C, Watts C (2013) How much demand for new HIV prevention technologies can we really expect? Results from a discrete choice experiment in South Africa, PLOS One, 8(12): e83193. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083193

Stadler J, Dugmore C, Venables E, MacPhail C, Delany-Moretlwe S (2013) Cognitive mapping: using local knowledge for planning health research, BMC Medical Research Methodology, 13, 96.

Lippman S, Maman S, MacPhail C, Twine R, Pettifor A (2013) Conceptualizing community mobilization for HIV prevention: an operational framework for the African context, PLoS Med, October 2013, 8(10), e78208.

Pettifor A, MacPhail C, Nguyen N, Rosenberg M, Parker L, Sibeko J (2013) Adapting a relationship-based HIV prevention intervention for use in South Africa: feasibility and acceptability, AIDS Care, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540121.2013.841827.

MacPhail C, Venables E, Delany-Moretlwe S (2013) Using HPV vaccination for promotion of an adolescent package of care: opportunity and perspectives, BMC Public Health, 13: 493.

MacPhail C, Pettifor A, Adato M, Kahn K, Selin A, Twine R, Khoza S, Rosenberg M, Nguyen N, Becker E (2013) Cash transfers as an HIV prevention method for young South African women: feasibility and acceptability, AIDS and Behavior, 23 Feb, Epub ahead of print.

Meghdadpour S, Curtis S, Pettifor A, MacPhail C (2012) Factors associated with substance use among orphaned and non-orphaned youth in South Africa, Journal of Adolescence, 35(5), 1329-40.

Pettifor A, MacPhail C, Nguyen N, Rosenberg M (2012) Can money prevent the spread of HIV? The use of cash payments for HIV prevention, AIDS and Behavior, 16(7), 1729-38.

MacPhail C, Delany-Moretlwe S, Mayaud P (2012) "It's not about money, it's about my health": Determinants of participation and adherence among women in an HIV-HSV2 prevention trial in Johannesburg, South Africa, Patient Preference and Adherence, 6, 579-588.

MacPhail C, Sayles J, Cunningham W, Newman P (2012) Perceptions of sexual risk compensation following posttrial HIV vaccine uptake among young South Africans, Qualitative Health Research, 22, 668-678

Pettifor A, MacPhail C, Anderson A, Maman S (2011) "If I buy the Kellogs then he should [buy] the milk": young women's perspectives on relationship dynamics, gender power and HIV risk in Johannesburg, South Africa, Culture, Health and Sexuality, 14(5), 477-490.

Pettifor, A., Levandowski, B., MacPhail, C., Ford, C., Miller, W., Stein, Rees, H., and Cohen, M. (2011) A tale of two countries: rethinking sexual risk for HIV among young people in South Africa and the US. Journal of Adolescent Health, 49, 237-243.

MacPhail C, Pettifor A, Corneli A and the NIAD Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (2011) Feasibility and acceptability of sexual abstinence for interruption of HIV transmission among individuals with acute HIV infection: formative data from CHAVI 011 [letter], Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine, 39, 46.

Pettifor A, MacPhail C, Corneli A, Sibeko J, Kamanga G, Rosenberg N, Miller WC, Hoffman I, Rees H, Cohen M, NIAID Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (2010) Continued high risk sexual behavior following diagnosis with Acute HIV Infection in South Africa and Malawi: implications for prevention, AIDS and Behavior, 15(6), 1243-1250.

Gokool, S., Fabian, J., Venter, WDF., MacPhail, C., Naicker, S (2010) HIV-positive kidney transplants for HIV-positive individuals? What South African patients and health care workers think. South African Medical Journal, 100(2), 96-98.

Sayles, J., MacPhail, C., Newman, P. and Cunningham, WE. (2010) Future HIV vaccine acceptability among young adults in South Africa. Health Education and Behavior, 37(2), 193-210.

Pettifor A, MacPhail C, Suchindran S and Delany-Moretlwe S (2010) Factors associated with HIV testing among public sector clinic attendees in Johannesburg, South Africa. AIDS and Behavior, 14(4), 913-21.

Speizer I, Pettifor A, Cummings S, MacPhail C, Kleinschmidt I, Rees H (2009) Sexual Violence and Reproductive Health Outcomes among South African Female Youth: A Contextual Analysis, American Journal of Public Health, 99 (Suppl. 2), S425-431.

Pettifor A, O'Brien K, MacPhail C,  Miller WC, Rees H (2009) Early coital debut and associated risk factors among young women and men in South Africa. Int Fam Planning Perspectives, 35(2), 82-90.

 MacPhail, C., Terris-Prestholt, F., Kumaranakaye, L., Ngoako, P., Watts, C and Rees, H. (2009) Managing men: women's dilemmas about overt & covert use of barrier methods for HIV prevention. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 11(5), 485-497.

 MacPhail, C., Pettifor, A., Moyo, W. and Rees H. (2009) Factors associated with HIV testing among sexually active South African youth aged 15-24 years. AIDS Care, 21(4), 456-67.

Operario D, Cluver L, Pettifor A, MacPhail C, Rees H. (2008) Orphanhood and completion of compulsory school education among young people in South Africa. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 18(1), 173-186.

Pettifor A, Levandowski B, MacPhail C, Padian N, Cohen M, Rees H. (2008) Keep them in school: the importance of education as a protective factor against HIV infection among young South African women. International Journal of Epidemiology, 37(6), 1266-73.

Pettifor A, MacPhail C, Rees H, Cohen M, (2008) HIV and Sexual Behaviour among Young People:  The South African Paradox. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 35(10), 843-844.

Palekar R, Pettifor A, Behets F, MacPhail C. (2007) Association Between Knowing Someone Who Died of AIDS and Behavior Change Among South African Youth. AIDS and Behavior, 12(6), 903-912.

Malope B, MacPhail P, Mbisa G, MacPhail C, Stein L, Ratshikhopha E, Ndhlou L, Sitas F and Whitby D (2008) No evidence of sexual transmission of Kaposi's sarcoma herpes virus in a heterosexual South African population. AIDS.  22, 519-526.

Moyo, W., Levandowski, B, MacPhail, C, Rees, H. and Pettifor, A. (2008) Consistent condom use in South African youth's most recent sexual relationship. AIDS and Behaviour. 12(3), 431-40.

MacPhail, C., Pettifor, A., Coates, T. and Rees, H (2008) 'You must do the test to know your status': attitudes to voluntary counseling and testing for HIV among South African youth and their parents. Health Education and Behaviour, 35 (1), 87-104.

MacPhail C, Pettifor A, Pascoe S and Rees H (2007) Contraception use and pregnancy among 15-24 year old South African women: a nationally representative cross-sectional survey. BMC Medicine, 5:31

Dalal R, MacPhail C, Mqhayi M, Wing J, Feldman C, Chersich M and Venter WDF (2007) Characteristics and outcomes of adult patients discontinuing follow-up at an antiretroviral treatment clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. JAIDS, 47(1), 101-107.

Pettifor A, MacPhail C, Bertozzi S, Rees H. (2007) The Challenge of evaluating national HIV prevention programs: the case of loveLife. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 83 (Suppl 1), i70-74.

MacPhail C, Pettifor A, Rees H. (2007) Contexts of risk: HIV/AIDS among young people in Africa and prevention opportunities. Africa Insight, 37(3), 473-492.

Kleinschmidt I, Pettifor A, Morris N, Rees H, MacPhail C. (2007) Geographic distribution of HIV in South Africa. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 77(6), 1163-1169.

MacPhail, C., Pettifor, A., Pascoe, S. and Rees, H (2007) Predictors of dual method use for pregnancy and HIV prevention among adolescent South African women. Contraception, 75(5), 383-389.

MacPhail, C (2007) Youth-driven HIV prevention programmes in South Africa: social capital, empowerment and conscientization. Social Dynamics, 32(2), 170-196.

Operario D, Pettifor A, Cluver L, MacPhail C, Rees H (2007) Prevalence of parental Death among young people in South Africa and risk for HIV infection: results from a national representative sample. JAIDS, 44(1), 93-98.

Sayles, J., Pettifor, A., Wong, M., MacPhail, C.,  Lee, S., Hendriksen, E., Rees, H. and Coates, T (2006) Gender Differences in Self-Efficacy for condom use and sexual negotiation in a sample of South African Youth. JAIDS, 43(2), 226-233.

Pettifor A, Rees H, Kleinschmidt I, MacPhail C, Padian N (2006) Response to letters from Jewkes, Parker and Colvin, and Potterat et al. AIDS, 20, 949-958 [letter].

Pettifor A, Kleinschmidt I, Levin J, Rees H, MacPhail C, Hlongwa-Madikizela L, Vermaak K, Napier G, Stevens W and Padian N (2005) A community-based study to examine the effect of a youth HIV prevention intervention on young people age 15-24 in South Africa: results of the baseline survey. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 10(10), 971-980.

Pettifor A, Rees H, Kleinschmidt I, Steffenson A, MacPhail C, Hlongwa-Madikizela L, Vermaak K and Padian N (2005) Young people's sexual health in South Africa: HIV prevalence and sexual behaviours from a nationally representative household survey. AIDS, 19, 1525-1534.

MacPhail, C. (2003) Challenging dominant norms of masculinity for HIV prevention. African Journal of AIDS Research, 2(2), 137-145.

Rain-Taljaard, R.C., Lagard, E., Taljaard, D.J., Campbell, C., MacPhail, C., Williams, B. and Auvert B. (2003) Potential for an intervention based on male circumcision in a South African town with high levels of HIV infection. AIDS Care, 15(3), 315-327.

MacPhail, C., Williams, B. and Campbell, C. (2002) Relative risk of HIV infection amongst young women and men in a South African township. International Journal of STD and AIDS, 13(5), 331-342.

Campbell, C. and MacPhail, C. (2002) Peer education, gender and the development of critical consciousness: participatory HIV prevention by South African youth. Social Science and Medicine, 55, 331-345.

Gilgen, D., Williams, B., MacPhail, C., van Dam, J., Campbell, C., Ballard, R. and Taljaard, D., (2001) The natural history of HIV/AIDS in a major goldmining center in South Africa: results from a biomedical and social survey, South African Journal of Science, 97, 387-392.

Williams, B., Gouws, E., Frohlich, J., Campbell, C. and MacPhail, C., (2001) Lessons from the front: NGOs and the fight against HIV/AIDS in South Africa, Voices from Africa, 10, 33-40.

MacPhail, CL. and Campbell, CM., (2001) 'I think condoms are good but, aai, I hate those things': condom use among adolescents and young people in a southern African township. Social Science and Medicine, 52(11), 1613-1627.

Auvert, B., Ballard, R., Campbell, C., Carael, M., Carton, M., Fehler, G., Gouws, E., MacPhail, C., Taljaard, D. and Williams, B. (2001) Very high prevalence of HIV infection among youth in a South African town is associated with Herpes simplex virus-2 seropositivity and sexual behaviour. AIDS, 15, 885-898.

Williams, BG., MacPhail, CL., Campbell, CM., Taljaard, D., Gouws, E., Moema, S., Mzaidume, Z. and Rasego, B., (2000) The Carletonville-Mothusimpilo Project: limiting transmission of HIV through community participation, South African Journal of Science, 96(6), 351-359.

Book Chapters

MacPhail C (forthcoming) Using Focus Group Discussions to investigate Perceptions of Sexual Risk Compensation following Posttrial HIV Vaccine Uptake among Youth South Africans. Qualitative Methods Series in Nursing, Springer.

Scott, J., C. MacPhail and V. Minichiello. (forthcoming) Telecommunications impacts on the structure and organisation of male sex work. In P. Maginn and C. Steinmetz (eds.) (Sub)Urban sexscapes: Geographies and regulation of the sex industry. London, Routledge

Bradshaw D, Pettifor A, MacPhail C, Dorrington R. 2004: Trends in Youth Risk for HIV. In:  Ijumba P, Day C, Ntuli A, editors, South African Health Review 2003/4. Durban: Health Systems Trust.

Campbell, C. and MacPhail, C. 2003: 'Condoms are good, but I hate those things': sexuality and HIV transmission among young people. In Campbell, C. Letting them Die: how HIV/AIDS prevention programmes often fail. Double Storey, Cape Town, pp. 121-131.

Campbell, C. and MacPhail, C. 2003: Facilitating community-led peer education among Summertown youth. In Campbell, C. Letting them Die: how HIV/AIDS prevention programmes often fail. Double Storey, Cape Town, pp. 132-148.

Research Supervision Experience

PhD to completion (2012); currently supervising an additional 3 PhDs

External PhD examiner (2009)