Dr Dorina Onoya [Principal Researcher - Epidemiology]

T: +27 (0) 10 001 0639  
Dr Dorina Onoya

Dr Dorina Onoya joined HE2RO in August 2014 as a Senior Researcher. She holds a B.SC (Honours) degree in Medical Biochemistry from the University of Witwatersrand (WITS), a MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Cape Town and a PhD in Public Health from Maastricht University. She has over 13 years of experience in HIV research including infectious disease epidemiology and HIV/AIDS intervention research. Dr Onoya has authored and co-authored several peer reviewed journal articles in AIDS Care, JAIDS, Journal of Public Health, Journal of Health Psychology, Women’s Health Issues and the South African Journal of Science.

Projects

  • Rates and predictors of ART refusal under the universal-test-and-treat (UTT) policy in South Africa

    Although almost four of seven million persons living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy (ART), an additional 2.5 million individuals must be initiated on ART to reach the target of initiating 90% of diagnosed HIV positive patients on ART by 2020. However, an estimated 20% of South African patients eligible under CD4<200 eligibility threshold were likely to refuse ART. With the removal of CD4 eligibility thresholds in 2016, it is unclear whether the demand for ART has improved and 
  • Building the Capacity of Lay Health Counsellors to Improve ART Uptake among High CD4 Patients under the “Treat All’ Policy in South Africa

    In September 2016, South Africa began implementing test-and-treat, in which everyone who tests HIV positive is offered antiretroviral therapy (ART), in hopes of attaining the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. However the success of the test-and-treat approach depends on early HIV testing and lifelong HIV treatment. In South Africa, lay HIV counselors are the first to introduce ART to newly diagnosed patients. However, most are under-trained with little professional supervision and emotional support and 
  • Attrition from HIV Care and Treatment Before and After an Increase in the CD4 Count Eligibility Threshold

    South Africa has recently announced that as of January 2015, it will be increasing its HIV treatment CD4 eligibility threshold from 350 cells/μl to 500 cells/μl1 making more patients eligible for treatment than ever before. However efforts to increase HIV treatment coverage may be minimized if losses to follow up, which have been shown to be high along the continuum of HIV care, offset gains from getting more people onto treatment. HE2RO will conduct a prospective cohort study of adult 
  • Pregnant Women

    Treatment outcomes among pregnant women remain a critical indicator for monitoring and evaluation of the national treatment program over time. A long-standing collaboration with researchers from the University of North Carolina has enriched the analysis of longitudinal data on pregnant women by the researchers at 
  • Second and Third-Line Antiretroviral Regimens

    As South Africa continues its rapid expansion of access to first-line antiretroviral therapy (ART), more patients will need to be switched to second-line therapy as these first-line regimens fail. However, with little experience with second-line treatments in resource-limited settings, it is not clear how well patients will do on these medications if their first regimen fails. As the cost of second-line medications is much higher than first-line, it is critical to evaluate whether these 
  • Adult Treatment Outcomes and Opportunistic Infections

    As the HIV epidemic matured in South Africa and the national treatment programme reached 10 years since inception, the team at HE2RO has used longitudinal patient databases to evaluate treatment outcomes among adults initiating ART. We consider diverse factors that may influence the effect of ART and also the impact of changing national guidelines in an on-going