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Cassidy W. Claassen, MD, MPH

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:


Administrative Title:

CIHEB Global Health Fellowship Director


Lusaka, Zambia

Education and Training

2002              Bachelor of Arts, Biology, Bethel College

2008              Master of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

2009              Medical Doctor, University of Maryland School of Medicine

2009-2012     Internship & Residency, Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine

2013-2015     Fellowship, Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland Medical Center


As an infectious disease and public heath physician with a lifelong dedication to improving health in Africa, the main focus of my career is developing access to infectious disease treatment in resource-limited settings. I focus primarily on HIV care and treatment in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly health system capacity development. I am currently based full-time in Lusaka, Zambia where we utilize community-based interventions to increase access to HIV services. I also work as an infectious disease consultant and lecturer at the University Teaching Hospital of Lusaka, where I see patients and instruct residents in advanced ID/HIV medicine. I also work in improving access to key populations in Africa, working with MSM and CSW communities in Zambia and IVDU in Kenya. Finally, I have a strong interest in international medical education and oversee an international health rotation for fellows, residents, and students to rotate with our team here in Zambia.

Research/Clinical Keywords

HIV, global health, Africa, community-based interventions, key populations, international medical education

Highlighted Publications

  1. Bodnar BE, Claassen CW, Solomon J, Mayanja-Kizza H, Rastegar A. The effect of a bidirectional exchange on faculty and institutional development in a global health collaboration. PLoS One 10(3): e0119798.
  2. Frosch AE, Laufer MK, Mathanga DP, Takala-Harrison S, Skarbinski J, Claassen CW, Dzinjalamala FK, Plowe CV. Return of widespread chloroquine-sensitive Plasmodium falciparum to Malawi. J Infect Dis. 2014 Oct 1; 210(7): 1110-4.
  3. Claassen CW, Kekich D, Nwezu C, Ambuku A, Salami D, Gilliam B, Amoroso A. HIV Viral Dynamics of Lopinavir/ritonavir Monotherapy as Second-Line Treatment in a Resource-Limited Setting. ID Week 2015, San Diego, CA, October 2015.
  4. Delva GJ, Francois I, Claassen CW, Dorestan D, Bastien B, Medina-Moreno S, Fort DS, Redfield RR, Buchwald UK. Active Tuberculosis Case Finding in Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Experiences, Results, and Implications for Tuberculosis Control Programs. Tuberc Res Treat. 2016;2016:8020745. Epub 2016 Sep 5.
  5. Sheneberger R, Claassen CW, Gashongore I, Mugisa B, Musoktwane K, Chinyonga J. The Community HIV Epidemic Control (CHEC) model: A novel integration of community and facility care to achieve 90-90-90 in Zambia. 18th Annual International Meeting of the Institute of Human Virology, Baltimore, MD, September 2016.

Additional Publication Citations

  1. Flys T, Nissley DV, Claassen CW, Jones D, Chanjuan S, Guay LA, Musoke P, Mmiro F, Strathern JN, Jackson JB, Eshleman JR, Eshleman SH. Sensitive drug resistance assays reveal long-term persistence of HIV-1 variants with the K103N nevirapine (NVP) resistance mutation in some women and infants after single dose NVP: HIVNET 012. J Infect Dis 2005; 192: 24–29.
  2. Claassen CW, O’Connor JV, Gens D, Sikorski R, Scalea TM. Penetrating Cardiac Injury: Think Outside the Box. J Trauma 2010; 68 (3): E71-E73.
  3. Claassen CW, Diener-West M, Mehta SH, Thomas DL, Kirk GD. Discordance Between CD4+ T-Lymphocyte Counts and Percentages in HIV-Infected Persons With Liver Fibrosis. Clin Infect Dis. 2012 Jun; 54(12): 1806-13.
  4. Gilliams EA, Jumare J, Claassen CW, Thesing PC, Nyirenda OM, Dzinjalamala FK, Taylor T, Plowe CV, Tracy LA, Laufer MK. Chloroquine-azithromycin combination antimalarial treatment decreases risk of respiratory- and gastrointestinal-tract infections in Malawian children. J Infect Dis. 2014 Aug 15; 210(4): 585-92.
  5. Bork JT, Wilding E, Claassen CW, Johnson JK, Kleinberg M. Fungal Sinusitis in a 75-Year-Old Neutropenic Cancer Patient. Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Jan 15; 60(2): 274.

Research Interests

  • Implementation research projects to quantitate the effect of our community-based interventions and to guide future approaches to improving the cascade of HIV care in Zambia.
  • Size estimation and disease surveillance among key populations in Zambia
  • Efficacy of third-line HIV regimens in Zambia
  • Microbiologic and epidemiological characteristics of bloodstream infections in Lusaka
  • Directly-administered antiretroviral therapy in conjunction with methadone maintenance therapy among East African IV drug users
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the impact of international medical exchange programs

Clinical Specialty Details

  • HIV treatment
  • General infectious diseases
  • Tropical medicine
  • Public health

Awards and Affiliations


2007    U.S. Public Health Service Training Grant, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

2008    Simpson Student Travel Award, Tropical Medicine Dinner Club, Baltimore, MD

2008    Doris Duke Malaria Research Fellowship, University of Maryland School of Medicine

2008    Benjamin H. Kean Traveling Fellowship in Tropical Medicine, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

2009    Gold Humanism Honor Society, University of Maryland School of Medicine

2011    Johnson & Johnson Global Health Scholar Award, Yale School of Medicine



2004-2016       American College of Physicians

2013-2016       Infectious Disease Society of America

2015-2016       Health Professions Council of Zambia