Coffee Hour with Ann Jolly: Looking for love in all the wrong places

Friday, September 9, 2016 - 3:30pm
Refreshments offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m. The talk begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.


human network by Idahlia Stanley

Image by Idahlia Stanley. Permission granted for use by Dr. Eugene Stanley, her husband.



About the talk

Sexually transmitted infections (STI) spread through networks of susceptible people, where the people form nodes in the network, and the links are sexual intercourse. Data on sex partners of people are available from network studies, and from public health units which co-ordinate partner notification, in which sex partners exposed to people with STI are notified of their exposures, tested and treated. Key features of networks in which STI flourish include homogeneity; where many of the members share common characteristics; but also require a certain amount of heterogeneity, whether it is in ethnic origin, age, or geography. We explore the nature of long distance links, where sex partners reside far away from each other and the impact that has on STI transmission. Last, we review the important role of social venues or “pick-up” joints in sexual networks; and their implications for prevention programs.

About the speaker

Ann JollyAnn Jolly obtained her PhD in Community Medicine from the University of Manitoba in 1998, specializing in the infectious disease epidemiology. She worked for 16 years with the Public Health Agency of Canada, assisting in the investigation of many outbreaks, and researching the transmission of sexually transmitted and blood borne pathogens. The University of Ottawa hired her in 2014, where she continues teaching introductory and advanced infectious disease epidemiology, and researches infectious disease spread in networks of people, incorporating both geographic cluster analysis and molecular microbiology.


Suggested reading

  • Jolly A. M., Wylie J. L. Sexual networks and sexually transmitted infections; “The strength of weak (long distance) ties.” In “The new public health and STD/HIV Prevention” Eds S. O. Aral, K. Fenton, J. Lipshutz. Springer, New York, 2013, pp 77 – 109.
  • De, P., Singh, A. E., Wong, T., Yacoub, W., & Jolly, A. M. (2004). Sexual network analysis of a gonorrhoea outbreak. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 80(4), 280–285. JOUR.

Contact us

Penn State encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Angela Rogers in advance of your participation or visit.

Angela Rogers  office: 814-865-2493 email:

Coffee Hour