Nathan Maclyn Thielman


Professor of Medicine

Broadly, my research focuses on a range of clinical and social issues that affect persons living with or at risk for HIV infection in resource-poor settings. In Tanzania, our group is applying novel methods to optimize HIV testing uptake among high-risk groups. We recently demonstrated that the Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE), a form of stated preference survey research, is a robust tool for identifying (a) which characteristics of HIV testing options are most preferred by different populations and (b) which tradeoffs individuals make in evaluating testing options. Building on more than a decade of productive HIV testing research in the Kilimanjaro Region, the next phase of our NIMH funded project will test the hypothesis that DCE-derived HIV testing options significantly increases rates of testing among groups at high risk for HIV infection. This work holds promise not only for optimizing HIV testing uptake in the Kilimanjaro Region, but also for applying novel tools in the service of translational epidemiology and implementation research.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor of Medicine
  • Professor of Pathology
  • Research Professor of Global Health

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 310 Trent Drive, Room 201, Trent Hall, Durham, NC 27710
  • Office Phone: +1 919 668 7174
  • Email Address:
  • Websites:


  • University of Virginia, 1996
  • Duke University, 1993
  • M.D. Duke University, 1990
  • M.P.H. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1989

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Leonard Palumbo, Jr., MD, Faculty Achievement Award. Duke University School of Medicine. 2020
  • Excellence in Mentoring. Duke Global Health Institute. 2012
  • Traditional Fulbright Scholarship. Council for International Exchange of Scholars. 2003

Courses Taught

  • GLHLTH 791: Independent Study in Global Health
  • GLHLTH 782: Internship in Global Health
  • GLHLTH 781: Ungraded Research in Global Health

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Prabhu, M; McHome, B; Ostermann, J; Itemba, D; Njau, B; Thielman, N; KIWAKKUKI-Duke VCT Study Group, , Prevalence and correlates of intimate partner violence among women attending HIV voluntary counseling and testing in northern Tanzania, 2005-2008., Int J Gynaecol Obstet, vol 113 no. 1 (2011), pp. 63-67 [10.1016/j.ijgo.2010.10.019] [abs].
  • Ostermann, J; Reddy, EA; Shorter, MM; Muiruri, C; Mtalo, A; Itemba, DK; Njau, B; Bartlett, JA; Crump, JA; Thielman, NM, Who tests, who doesn't, and why? Uptake of mobile HIV counseling and testing in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania., PLoS One, vol 6 no. 1 (2011) [10.1371/journal.pone.0016488] [abs].
  • Whetten, K; Ostermann, J; Whetten, RA; Pence, BW; O'Donnell, K; Messer, LC; Thielman, NM; Positive Outcomes for Orphans (POFO) Research Team, , A comparison of the wellbeing of orphans and abandoned children ages 6-12 in institutional and community-based care settings in 5 less wealthy nations., PLoS One, vol 4 no. 12 (2009) [10.1371/journal.pone.0008169] [abs].
  • Shao, HJ; Crump, JA; Ramadhani, HO; Uiso, LO; Ole-Nguyaine, S; Moon, AM; Kiwera, RA; Woods, CW; Shao, JF; Bartlett, JA; Thielman, NM, Early versus delayed fixed dose combination abacavir/lamivudine/zidovudine in patients with HIV and tuberculosis in Tanzania., AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses, vol 25 no. 12 (2009), pp. 1277-1285 [10.1089/aid.2009.0100] [abs].
  • Thielman, NM; Chu, HY; Ostermann, J; Itemba, DK; Mgonja, A; Mtweve, S; Bartlett, JA; Shao, JF; Crump, JA, Cost-effectiveness of free HIV voluntary counseling and testing through a community-based AIDS service organization in Northern Tanzania., Am J Public Health, vol 96 no. 1 (2006), pp. 114-119 [10.2105/AJPH.2004.056796] [abs].
  • Thielman, NM; Guerrant, RL, Clinical practice. Acute infectious diarrhea., N Engl J Med, vol 350 no. 1 (2004), pp. 38-47 [10.1056/NEJMcp031534] [abs].