Ruanne Barnabas

Affiliate Professor, Epidemiology



DPhil Epidemiology, University of Oxford, 2005
MSc Epidemiology, University of Oxford, 2000
MBChB Medicine & Surgery, University of Cape Town (South Africa), 1997



55 Fruit St.
Boston, MA 02114
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Dr. Ruanne Barnabas is a South African physician-scientist and the Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

Over the last 15 years, her research has focused on interventions for HIV and STD treatment and prevention and, more recently, on COVID-19 prevention. She is particularly interested in novel approaches that increase access to services. She has led clinical trials with companion health economic modeling to assess interventions' potential health and economic impact. For example, the Delivery Optimization for Antiretroviral therapy (DO ART) Study evaluated the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of decentralized, community-based ART initiation compared to standard clinic-based care. She also leads work assessing innovative strategies to increase access to care, including lottery incentives, home delivery, and ART monitoring. She is the Principal Investigator of the KEN SHE Study to assess the impact of single-dose human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in Kenya. Recently, her work has extended to COVID-19 prevention within households. Her work aims to identify effective and scalable HIV, HPV, and infectious disease treatment and prevention strategies to increase access across diverse communities and promote equity in health.

In addition to leading clinical trials and companion health economic modeling as an independently funded investigator, she also serves as an advisor to the World Health Organization and UNAIDS on cervical cancer elimination and treatment and prevention of HIV. She is on the planning committee for the AIDS 2022 conference. She was honored as a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America in 2020.

Dr. Barnabas graduated from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where she received her medical degree. She received her research doctorate in medicine and clinical epidemiology from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She completed her residency in South Africa and her fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington, where she joined the faculty and was promoted to Professor of Global Health and Medicine before joining MGH in January 2022.  


Recent Publications (PubMed)

Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Validation of the Sexual and Reproductive Empowerment Scale for Adolescents and Young Adults in Kenya.
(2024 Apr 11)
Stud Fam Plann
Zia Y, Upadhyay U, Rhew I, Kimanthi S, Congo O, Onono M, Barnabas R, Mugo N, Bukusi EA, Harrington EK

Concordance between SARS-CoV-2 index individuals and their household contacts on index individual COVID-19 transmission cofactors: a comparison of self-reported and contact-reported information.
(2024 Apr 2)
BMC Public Health 24(1): 950
Dahl AM, Brown CE, Brown ER, O'Brien MP, Barnabas RV

Comparing one dose of HPV vaccine in girls aged 9-14 years in Tanzania (DoRIS) with one dose in young women aged 15-20 years in Kenya (KEN SHE): an immunobridging analysis of randomised controlled trials.
(2024 Mar)
Lancet Glob Health 12(3): e491-e499
Baisley K, Kemp TJ, Mugo NR, Whitworth H, Onono MA, Njoroge B, Indangasi J, Bukusi EA, Prabhu PR, Mutani P, Galloway DA, Mwanzalime D, Kapiga S, Lacey CJ, Hayes RJ, Changalucha J, Pinto LA, Barnabas RV, Watson-Jones D

A SMART Approach to Retention in HIV Care.
(2023 Apr)
NEJM Evid 2(4): EVIDe2300040
North CM, Barnabas RV

People living with HIV's perspectives of acceptability of fee for home delivery of ART: a qualitative study.
(2024 Jan 17)
BMC Health Serv Res 24(1): 88
Ntinga X, Musiello F, Pita T, Mabaso N, Celum C, Szpiro A, van Rooyen H, Barnabas R, van Heerden A

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