April Bell, PhD, MPH

Assistant Clinical Professor,
Family Community Medicine

Dr. Bell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine (FCM) in the School of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Prior to joining FCM, she was a postdoctoral scholar with the Preterm Birth Initiative at UCSF.

She obtained her PhD in Epidemiology from the Indiana University School of Public Health at Bloomington. She received her MPH with a dual concentration in Epidemiology and Social & Behavioral Sciences from the Indiana University School of Medicine and her BA in Human Biology from Stanford University. Dr. Bell's research is focused on decreasing reproductive health inequities among women and youth by addressing the impacts of societal and structural biases on adverse birth outcomes, sexually transmitted infections, HIV acquisition, abortion access, and unintended pregnancy. Having worked extensively in both the US and across sub-Saharan Africa, she is interested in using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, including digital storytelling, to bridge the expanse between US and African settings.

She has conducted research and evaluated programs in domestic and international settings during her 10 years at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 5 years at AMPATH, one of the largest and most successful HIV treatment programs in sub-Saharan Africa; and 18 months in Ghana as a Fogarty Research Fellow conducting maternal/child health and reproductive/sexual health research under the auspices of the University of Michigan. Since 2016, she has focused her work in the United States. She is a Society for Family Planning Emerging Leader and was awarded a research grant to fund her pilot project aimed at assessing the impact of digital storytelling on abortion stigma.

Dr. Bell is Certified in Public Health and a Certified Clinical Research Professional. She is the Membership Chair for the Sexual and Reproductive Health Section of the American Public Health Association. Other professional affiliations include the Society of Family Planning, Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and Society for Epidemiologic Research.

Publications: 

Police brutality and unmet need for mental health care.

Health services research

Alang S, Rogers TB, Williamson LD, Green C, Bell AJ

The association of COVID-19 infection in pregnancy with preterm birth: A retrospective cohort study in California.

Lancet Regional Health. Americas

Karasek D, Baer RJ, McLemore MR, Bell AJ, Blebu BE, Casey JA, Coleman-Phox K, Costello JM, Felder JN, Flowers E, Fuchs JD, Gomez AM, Karvonen K, Kuppermann M, Liang L, McKenzie-Sampson S, McCulloch CE, Oltman SP, Pantell MS, Piao X, Prather AA, Schmidt RJ, Scott KA, Spellen S, Stookey JD, Tesfalul M, Rand L, Jelliffe-Pawlowski LL

'Asram is really killing us here': attribution for pregnancy losses and newborn mortality in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.

Journal of biosocial science

Bakari A, Bell AJ, Oppong S, Woodford J, Kaselitz E, Moyer CA

Neonatal near-misses in Ghana: a prospective, observational, multi-center study.

BMC pediatrics

Bakari A, Bell AJ, Oppong SA, Bockarie Y, Wobil P, Plange-Rhule G, Goka BQ, Engmann CM, Adanu RM, Moyer CA

Is abortion justified to save the life or health of a woman? Evidence of public opinion from Accra, Ghana.

International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics

Rominski SD, Bell AJ, Yawson AE, Nakua EK, Moyer CA

'This sickness is not hospital sickness': a qualitative study of the evil eye as a source of neonatal illness in Ghana.

Journal of biosocial science

Bell AJ, Arku Z, Bakari A, Oppong SA, Youngblood J, Adanu RM, Moyer CA

"We call them miracle babies": How health care providers understand neonatal near-misses at three teaching hospitals in Ghana.

PloS one

Bell AJ, Wynn LV, Bakari A, Oppong SA, Youngblood J, Arku Z, Bockarie Y, Adu J, Wobil P, Plange-Rhule G, Goka B, Adanu RM, Moyer CA

Predictors of stillbirths and neonatal deaths in rural western Uganda.

International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics

Moyer CA, Kolars CK, Oppong SA, Bakari A, Bell A, Busingye P

"These are good problems to have…": establishing a collaborative research partnership in East Africa.

Journal of general internal medicine

Tierney WM, Nyandiko WN, Siika AM, Wools-Kaloustian K, Sidle JE, Kiplagat J, Bell A, Inui TS

Experience implementing electronic health records in the antenatal clinic of a teaching and referral hospital in Kenya.

Studies in health technology and informatics

Chemwolo B, Caloia D, Wools-Kaloustian K, Sidle J, Spitzer RF, Were M, Bell A, Tierney WM

Short-Term Rationing of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy: Impact on Morbidity, Mortality, and Loss to Follow-Up in a Large HIV Treatment Program in Western Kenya.

AIDS research and treatment

Bell AJ, Wools-Kaloustian K, Kimaiyo S, Liu H, Katschke A, Shen C, Simiyu G, Musick BS, Sidle JE, Siika A, Braitstein P

Determinants of condom use among female sex workers in Kenya: a case-crossover analysis.

Journal of women's health (2002)

Gallo MF, Warner L, Bell AJ, Bukusi EA, Sharma A, Njoroge B, Ngugi E, Jamieson DJ, Eschenbach DA

Assessment of changes in condom use among female sex workers in a prospective cohort study introducing diaphragm use for disease prevention.

American journal of epidemiology

Gallo MF, Warner L, Bell AJ, Wiener J, Eschenbach DA, Bukusi EA, Sharma A, Njoroge B, Ngugi E, Jamieson DJ

Diaphragm for STI and HIV prevention: is it a safe method for women at high risk?

Sexually transmitted diseases

Njoroge B, Gallo MF, Sharma A, Bukusi EA, Nguti R, Bell AJ, Jamieson DJ, Williams D, Eschenbach DA

Intravaginal practices among female sex workers in Kibera, Kenya.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Gallo MF, Sharma A, Bukusi EA, Njoroge B, Nguti R, Jamieson DJ, Bell AJ, Eschenbach DA

Adherence to diaphragm use for infection prevention: a prospective study of female sex workers in Kenya.

Infectious diseases in obstetrics and gynecology

Bukusi EA, Gallo MF, Sharma A, Njoroge B, Jamieson DJ, Nguti R, Bell AJ, Eschenbach DA

Experience implementing electronic health records in three East African countries.

Studies in health technology and informatics

Tierney WM, Achieng M, Baker E, Bell A, Biondich P, Braitstein P, Kayiwa D, Kimaiyo S, Mamlin B, McKown B, Musinguzi N, Nyandiko W, Rotich J, Sidle J, Siika A, Were M, Wolfe B, Wools-Kaloustian K, Yeung A, Yiannoutsos C, Tanzania-Uganda Openmrs Consortium

Promoting continuous use as a strategy for achieving adherence in a trial of the diaphragm with candidate microbicide.

AIDS education and prevention : official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education

Penman-Aguilar A, Swezey T, Turner AN, Bell AJ, Ramiandrisoa FN, Legardy-Williams J, Randrianasolo B, Van Damme K, Dulyx J, Behets F, Jamieson DJ

Predictors of adherent use of diaphragms and microbicide gel in a four-arm, randomized pilot study among female sex workers in Madagascar.

Sexually transmitted diseases

Turner AN, Van Damme K, Jamieson DJ, Khan MR, Pettifor AE, Swezey TA, Bell AJ, Newman DR, Penman-Aguilar A, Raharinivo MS, Randrianasolo B, Ramiandrisoa FN, Behets FM, Mad STI Prevention Group

Vaginal microbicide and diaphragm use for sexually transmitted infection prevention: a randomized acceptability and feasibility study among high-risk women in Madagascar.

Sexually transmitted diseases

Behets FM, Turner AN, Van Damme K, Rabenja NL, Ravelomanana N, Swezey TA, Bell AJ, Newman DR, Williams DL, Jamieson DJ, Mad STI Prevention Group

Barriers to the use of modern contraceptives and implications for woman-controlled prevention of sexually transmitted infections in Madagascar.

Journal of biosocial science

Randrianasolo B, Swezey T, Van Damme K, Khan MR, Ravelomanana N, Lovaniaina Rabenja N, Raharinivo M, Bell AJ, Jamieson D, MAD STI Prevention Group, Behets F

Phase I safety trial of two vaginal microbicide gels (Acidform or BufferGel) used with a diaphragm compared to KY jelly used with a diaphragm.

Sexually transmitted diseases

Williams DL, Newman DR, Ballagh SA, Creinin MD, Barnhart K, Weiner DH, Bell AJ, Jamieson DJ