Aimalohi (Aima) Ahonkhai, MD, MPH

Director, Community Engaged Research Program and Associate Director, Bio-behavioral and Community Science Core, Harvard University CFAR
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine, VUMC

Global Health /Public Health Topic(s): Youth Friendly Care Models, mHealth Interventions, Community-engaged interventions, HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, Social Determinants of Health

Project Countries: Nigeria

Dr. Ahonkhai is an Infectious Diseases physician and health equity advocate with expertise in HIV medicine, public health, epidemiology, implementation, and outcomes research. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, attended Johns Hopkins Hospital for medical school and residency, and completed a Master’s in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She returned to Harvard to complete her training in Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals. 

Dr. Ahonkhai’s research focuses on optimizing clinical outcomes for marginalized patients living with HIV, especially adolescents and young adults, using mHealth-supported and community-engaged interventions. With the unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Ahonkhai has worked on global and local programs to improve access to testing, treatment, and vaccination as well as education for and about COVID-19.

Dr. Ahonkhai currently leads two NIH-funded research grants utilizing mHealth strategies to support health outcomes of young people living with HIV in Nigeria including:

  1. PeerNaija (NIH R21TW011327), a gamified mHealth application that incorporates social and financial incentives to improve medication adherence,
  2. Change My Story (NIH R21HD106578), a digital narrative game in which players navigate difficult experiences based on drivers of depression paired with a task-shifted cognitive behavioral therapy intervention to improve mental health outcomes.


M.D. and M.P.H., Johns Hopkins University