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)

Barriers, Facilitators, and Strategies to Improve Participation of a Couple-Based Intervention to Address Women's Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
(2023 Feb 28)
Int J Behav Med
Belus JM, Msimango LI, van Heerden A, Magidson JF, Bradley VD, Mdakane Y, van Rooyen H, Barnabas RV

A Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trial of scalable interventions for ART delivery in South Africa: the SMART ART study.
(2023 Jan 17)
Trials 24(1): 32
van Heerden A, Szpiro A, Ntinga X, Celum C, van Rooyen H, Essack Z, Barnabas R

Estimating the effect of HIV on cervical cancer elimination in South Africa: Comparative modelling of the impact of vaccination and screening.
(2022 Dec)
EClinicalMedicine 54(): 101754
Boily MC, Barnabas RV, Rönn MM, Bayer CJ, van Schalkwyk C, Soni N, Rao DW, Staadegaard L, Liu G, Silhol R, Brisson M, Johnson LF, Bloem P, Gottlieb S, Broutet N, Dalal S

A cross-sectional study of the prevalence, barriers, and facilitators of cervical cancer screening in family planning clinics in Mombasa County, Kenya.
(2022 Dec 23)
BMC Health Serv Res 22(1): 1577
Eastment MC, Wanje G, Richardson BA, Mwaringa E, Patta S, Sherr K, Barnabas RV, Mandaliya K, Jaoko W, McClelland RS

The Feasibility and Acceptability of an mHealth Conversational Agent Designed to Support HIV Self-testing in South Africa: Cross-sectional Study.
(2022 Dec 12)
J Med Internet Res 24(12): e39816
Ntinga X, Musiello F, Keter AK, Barnabas R, van Heerden A

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