Mojola’s first book was Love, Money and HIV: Becoming a Modern African Woman in the Age of AIDS  (University of California Press, 2014). The puzzle at the heart of the book is why young African women have higher rates of HIV compared to young men. The study is based in Nyanza province, Kenya, which has had the worst epidemic in the country for a few decades. The book examines how desires for money, gifts, modernity and consumption become inextricably linked with intimate relationships and the meaning of love. It unpacks paradoxes such as why wealthy, educated and employed Africans have higher rates than their poor, less educated and unemployed counterparts. It also examines how school, the community, labor markets, and the natural ecological environment contribute to the production of consuming women. It show how these entanglements lie at the heart of young women’s disproportionate HIV rates. The book won multiple awards including the 2016 Distinguished Scholarly Book Award (Best Book of the Year) from the American Sociological Association. 


Mojola has also published a series of articles on the African HIV pandemic and African youth listed below:

Publications (student co-authors italicized):

Andrus, Emily, Sanyu A. Mojola, Beth Moran, Marisa Eisenberg, Jon Zelner. 2021. Has the relationship between wealth and HIV risk in Sub-Saharan Africa changed over time? A temporal, gendered and hierarchical analysis. Social Science and Medicine – Population Health,

Mojola, Sanyu A. and Joyce Wamoyi 2019. Contextual drivers of HIV risk among young African women  - Journal of the International AIDS Society. 22 (2019): e25302. (

Pike, Isabel, Sanyu A. Mojola, and Caroline W Kabiru. 2018. Making Sense of Marriage: Gender and the Transition to Adulthood in Nairobi, Kenya.  Journal of Marriage and Family, 80, no. 5 (2018): 1298-1313.

Sennott, Christie and Sanyu A. Mojola 2017. “Behaving Well”: The Transition to Respectable Womanhood in Rural South Africa. Culture, Health and Sexuality. 19 (7): 781-795.

Okigbo, Chinelo, Caroline W. Kabiru, Joyce N. Mumah, Sanyu A. Mojola, and Donatien Beguy. 2015. Influence of Parental Factors on Adolescents’ Transition to First Sex among Urban Poor Adolescents Living in Nairobi Slums, Kenya.  Reproductive Health 12 (2015): 73.

Mojola, Sanyu A. 2015. Material Girls and Material Love: Consuming Femininity and the Contradictions of Post-Girl Power among Kenyan Schoolgirls. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies. Special Issue: Post-Girl Power: Globalized, Mediated Femininities 29(2):218-229.

Kabiru, Caroline, Patricia Elung’ata, Sanyu A. Mojola and Donatien Beguy. 2014. Adverse Life Events and Delinquent Behavior among Kenyan Adolescents: The Protective Role of Self-Esteem, Religiosity and Parental Monitoring.  Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 8(24):1-11.

Mojola, Sanyu A. 2014. Providing Women, Kept Men: Doing Masculinity in the Wake of the African HIV/AIDS Pandemic. Signs 39(2): 341-363.

Reprinted in: Zinn, Maxine Baca, Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, Michael Messner and Amy.M.Denissen 2015.Gender Through the Prism of Difference. 5th edition. Pp 299-310. Oxford University Press.

Kabiru, Caroline W., Sanyu A. Mojola, Donatien Beguy, and Chinelo Okigbo. 2013. Growing Up at the “Margins”: Concerns, Aspirations and Expectations of Young People Living in Nairobi’s Slums. Journal of Research on Adolescence Special Issue: Adolescents in the Majority World.  23(1): 81–94.

Mojola, Sanyu A. 2011. Multiple Transitions and HIV Risk among Orphaned Kenyan School Girls.  Studies in Family Planning 42(1):29-40.

Mojola, Sanyu A. 2011. Fishing in Dangerous Waters: Ecology, Gender and Economy in HIV Risk.  Social Science and Medicine 72(2): 149-156.