Dr Heidi Van Rooyen

DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
TELEPHONE: +27 (0)33 324 5009
EMAIL: hvanrooyen@hsrc.ac.za

Professor Heidi van Rooyen is the Executive Director of the Human and Social Development Programme at the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa. This multidisciplinary programme employs critical humanities and social sciences lenses to explore complex questions about society and groups of people living in adversity over the life course. Heidi is an Honorary Professor at WITS University. For more than two decades her work has addressed HIV risks and vulnerability as well as the broader contexts and inequalities that shape this risk. Her current research focuses on two areas: the influence of sexual orientation and gender identity as social determinants of health, and issues of race and identity.

Recent

Measurements of sexuality-based stigma among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) in resource-poor settings: a review

Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) in resource-poor settings are disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. GBMSM l....

Linkage to HIV care after home-based HIV counselling and testing in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review

Home-based HIV counselling and testing (HBHCT) has the potential to increase HIV testing uptake in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), but data on linkage to HI....

Adapted but not preferred: human capabilities and wellbeing in oppressive environments

The capabilities approach draws attention to freedom, conceived of as the extent to which individuals have the capability to choose between different ....

"I think it is right": a qualitative exploration of the acceptability and desired future use of oral swab and finger-prick HIV self-tests by lay users in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

The uptake of HIV testing has increased in sub-Saharan Africa over the past three decades. However, the proportion of people aware of their HIV status....

Perceived mHealth barriers and benefits for home-based HIV testing and counseling and other care: qualitative findings from health officials, community health workers, and persons living with HIV in South Africa

mHealth has been proposed to address inefficiencies in the current South African healthcare system, including home-based HIV testing and counseling (H....

The longer walk to freedom: making sense of our attitudes towards race

Twenty years since the formal end of apartheid, South Africa still has a considerable distance to travel to become a country of true social cohesion.....

"Men don't want things to be seen or known about them": a mixed-methods study to locate men in a home based counselling and testing programme in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

While evidence for home based counselling and testing (HBCT) as an effective HIV testing strategy is growing, men are often under-represented in this ....

Rethinking HIV prevention to prepare for oral PrEP implementation for young African women

HIV incidence remains high among young women in sub-Saharan Africa in spite of scale-up of HIV testing, behavioural interventions, antiretroviral trea....

Quality of HIV counselling in South Africa

HIV counselling and testing (HCT) has become increasingly available in South Africa since the 1990s. Over 4500 public health facilities offer client a....

Evaluation of the HIV lay counselling and testing profession in South Africa

With the launch of the national HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) campaign in South Africa (SA), lay HIV counsellors, who had been trained in blood wi....

Men's moralising discourses on gender and HIV risk in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Various interventions have resulted in increased rates of HIV testing. However, remains a challenge. In this study, we examine men's perspectives on n....

Empowering patients to link to care and treatment: qualitative findings about the role of a home-based HIV counselling, testing and linkage intervention in South Africa

To explore the barriers and facilitators of linkage to and retention in care amongst persons who tested positive for HIV, qualitative research was con....

What are the constraints and opportunities for HIVST scale-up in Africa?: evidence from Kenya, Malawi and South Africa

HIV self-testing (HIVST) has the potential to increase uptake of HIV testing among untested populations in sub-Saharan Africa and is on the brink of s....

Characteristics of sexually experienced HIV testers aged 18 to 32 in rural South Africa: baseline results from a community-based trial, NIMH Project Accept (HPTN 043)

Young people in South Africa are at high risk of HIV infection and yet may have more limited access to prevention and treatment services than others i....

Cost-effectiveness of community-based strategies to strengthen the continuum of HIV care in rural South Africa: a health economic modelling analysis

Home HIV counselling and testing (HTC) achieves high coverage of testing and linkage to care compared with existing facility-based approaches, particu....

Making HIV testing services for children appropriate, accessible and available: key policy considerations

Background and context: The HIV epidemic in South Africa is substantial, with almost 3.3 million children under the age of 15 living with HIV (UNAIDS....

'If you are circumcised, you are the best': understandings and perceptions of voluntary medical male circumcision among men from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

While the uptake of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) is increasing, South Africa has only attained 20% of its target to circumcise 80% of ad....

Initiation of antiretroviral therapy and viral suppression after home HIV testing and counselling in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and Mabarara district, Uganda: a prospective, observational intervention study

Antiretroviral therapy significantly decreases HIV-associated morbidity, mortality, and HIV transmission through HIV viral load suppression. In settin....

Primary school-going children's understanding of HIV/AIDS: a narrative analysis

The aims of the study were to investigate how primary school-going children understand the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the effect of HIV/AIDS on them. Child....

Realizing the potential for HIV self-testing

HIV self-testing (HIVST), a process in which an individual performs a HIV rapid diagnostic test and interprets the result in private, is an emerging a....

What should the ideal HIV self-test look like?: a usability study of test prototypes in unsupervised HIV self-testing in Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa

HIV self-testing (HIVST) is increasingly being sought and offered globally, yet there is limited information about the test features that will be requ....

Diagnosis and promotion of serostatus awareness in sub-Saharan Africa

Summary: Evaluation of novel and cost-effective strategies to increase HIV testing and linkage to care among women, men and couples is a key priority ....

HIV self-testing could

South Africa bears the world's largest burden of HIV with over 6.4 million people living with the virus. The South African government's response to HI....

Effect of community-based voluntary counselling and testing on HIV incidence and social and behavioural outcomes (NIMH Project Accept; HPTN 043): a cluster-randomised trial

Background Although several interventions have shown reduced HIV incidence in clinical trials, the community-level effect of effective interventions ....

High HIV testing uptake and linkage to care in a novel program of home-based HIV counseling and testing with facilitated referral in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

For antiretroviral therapy (ART) to have a population level HIV prevention impact, high levels of HIV testing and effective linkages to HIV care amon....

Uthando Lwethu ('our love'): a protocol for a couples-based intervention to increase testing for HIV: a randomized controlled trial in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Couples-based HIV counseling and testing (CHCT) is a proven strategy to reduce the risk of HIV transmission between partners, but uptake of CHCT is lo....

NIMH Project Accept (HPTN 043): results from in-depth interviews with a longitudinal cohort of community members

Introduction: NIMH Project Accept (HPTN 043) is a community-randomized trial to test the safety and efficacy of a community-level intervention designe....

A cluster randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of peer mentors to support South African women living with HIV and their infants

Objective: We evaluate the effect of clinic-based support by HIV-positive Peer Mentors, in addition to standard clinic care, on maternal and infant we....

Pregnant women living with HIV (WLH) supported at clinics by peer WLH: a cluster randomized trial

Throughout Africa, Peer Mentors who are women living with HIV (WLH) are supporting pregnant WLH at antenatal and primary healthcare clinics. We evalua....

Advice dilemmas: managing advice against the competing public health and counselling imperatives that shape VCT in South Africa

The public health and counselling imperatives that shape VCT create advice dilemmas for counsellors. Public health proponents view the dispensing of a....

Is it lawful to offer HIV self-testing to children in South Africa?

Health-facility-based HIV counselling and testing does not capture all children and adolescents who are at risk of HIV infection. Self-testing involv....

HIV status disclosure to families for social support in South Africa (NIMH Project Accept/HPTN 043)

Literature on HIV status disclosure among persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) is dominated by research on the rates, barriers and consequences of dis....

Understanding and addressing socio-cultural barriers to medical male circumcision in traditionally non-circumcising rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa

Given recent clinical trials establishing the safety and efficacy of adult medical male circumcision (MMC) in Africa, attention has now shifted to bar....

Integrated strategies for combination HIV prevention: principles and examples for men who have sex with men in the Americas and heterosexual African populations

Combination HIV prevention is of high priority for increasing the impact of partially efficacious HIV prevention interventions for specific population....

"The good and the bad?": childhood experiences with fathers and their influence on women's expectations and men's experiences of fathering in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Using qualitative data from Project SIZE: a study that explores child and family well-being in the context of HIV/AIDS and poverty, we interviewed the....

Health diplomacy the adaptation of global health interventions to local needs in sub-Saharan Africa and Thailand: evaluating findings from Project Accept (HPTN 043)

Background: Study-based global health interventions, especially those that are conducted on an international or multi-site basis, frequently require s....

Mobile VCT: reaching men and young people in urban and rural South African pilot studies (NIMH Project Accept, HPTN 043)

Mounting evidence exists that mobile voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) is able to extend coverage to new localities and populations. We describe....

Qualitative interviews with mentor mothers living with HIV: potential impacts of role and coping strategies

In South Africa where HIV prevalence is high, mentor mother programmes have been used to promote the health and wellbeing of women enrolled in governm....

Alcohol consumption among HIV-positive pregnant women in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: prevalence and correlates

HIV-positive pregnant women who drink put their children at risk of both HIV and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. The province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN)....

The influence of antiretroviral treatment on willingness to test: a qualitative study in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Previous quantitative studies suggest a mutually reinforcing relationship between HIV counselling and testing (HCT) and antiretroviral treatment (ART)....

Looking to the future: South African men and women negotiating HIV risk and relationship intimacy

This paper examines the approaches heterosexual men and women in South Africa use to engage their partners in discussions of HIV and risk factors in t....

Project Masihambisane: a cluster randomised controlled trial with peer mentors to improve outcomes for pregnant mothers living with HIV

Pregnant women living with HIV (WLH) face daily challenges maintaining their own and their babies' health and mental health. Standard Prevention of Ma....

Advice-giving difficulties in voluntary counselling and testing: a distinctly moral activity

Advice-giving in voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) is demanding as it involves the discussion of difficult topics such as the morality of sexual....

In sickness and in health

It seems to be common sense that in relationships, the health of one partner is linked to the health of the other. But couples struggle to get access ....

HIV-related stigma, social norms, and HIV testing in Soweto and Vulindlela, South Africa: National Institutes of Mental Health Project Accept (HPTN 043)

Objective: HIV testing is necessary to curb the increasing epidemic. However, HIV-related stigma and perceptions of low likelihood of societal HIV tes....

Recruiting heterosexual couples from the general population for studies in rural South Africa - challenges and lessons (Project Accept, HPTN 043)

Couples should be included in HIV prevention research, but their recruitment in southern Africa is challenging given high levels of migration and non-....

Approaches to HIV counselling and testing: strengths and weaknesses, and challenges for the way forward

South Africa has the highest rates of HIV infection of any country in the world. Once an individual has been tested for HIV, prevention can be reinfo....

Using participatory mapping to inform a community-randomized trial of HIV counseling and testing

Participatory mapping and transect walks were used to inform the research and intervention design and to begin building community relations in prepara....

Only skin deep: limitations of public health understanding of male circumcision in South Africa

The recent randomised controlled trials in South Africa, Uganda and Kenya which showed the dramatic impact of adult male circumcision (MC) on HIV tran....

A comparison of HIV/AIDS-related stigma in four countries: negative attitudes and perceived acts of discrimination towards people living with HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination have a substantial impact on people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA). The objectives of this study were: (1) to ....

Test and tell: correlates and consequences of testing and disclosure of HIV status in South Africa (HPTN 043 Project Accept)

Background: As the numbers of HIV-positive diagnoses rise in South Africa, it is important to understand the determinants and consequences of HIV dis....

Using participatory methods and geographic information systems (GIS) to prepare for an HIV community-based trial in Vulindlela, South Africa. Project Accept - HPTW 043

Recent attempts to integrate geographic information systems (GIS) and participatory techniques, have given rise to terminologies such as participatory....

Project Accept (HPTN 043): a community-based intervention to reduce HIV incidence in populations at risk for HIV in sub-Saharan Africa and Thailand

Background: Changing community norms to increase awareness of HIV status and reduce HIV-related stigma has the potential to reduce the incidence of H....

Moving voluntary counselling and testing to the people

Social scientists are constantly trying to find new and pioneering ways to change sexual behaviour in the unrelenting battle against HIV. One proven m....

Universal HIV testing of infants at immunization clinics: an acceptable and feasible approach for early infant diagnosis in high HIV prevalence settings

Objective: To determine the acceptability and feasibility of universal HIV testing of 6-week-old infants attending immunization clinics to achieve ear....

Power and the association with relationship quality in South African couples: implications for HIV/AIDS interventions

Power imbalances within sexual relationships have significant implications for HIV prevention in sub-Saharan Africa. Little is known about how power i....

HIV testing of children is not simple for health providers and researchers: legal and policy frameworks guidance in South Africa

Antiretroviral treatment coverage for children and adolescents is significantly lower than that for adults. A first step in improving this situation i....

Home testing and counselling to reduce HIV incidence in a generalised epidemic setting: a mathematical modelling analysis

Home HIV testing and counselling (HTC) achieves high levels of HIV testing and linkage to care. Periodic home HTC, particularly targeted to those with....

How home HIV testing and counselling with follow-up support achieves high testing coverage and linkage to treatment and prevention: a qualitative analysis from Uganda

The successes of HIV treatment scale-up and the availability of new prevention tools have raised hopes that the epidemic can finally be controlled and....

The longer walk to freedom: making sense of race relations

There is much unfinished business in post-apartheid South Africa. Over the past year, a series of racist and bigoted outbursts on social media have ge....

Taking HIV testing to families: designing a family-based intervention to facilitate HIV testing, disclosure, and intergenerational communication

Facility-based HIV testing does not capture many adults and children who are at risk of HIV in South Africa. This underscores the need to provide targ....

"If she is drunk, I don't want her to take it": partner beliefs and influence on use of alcohol and antiretroviral therapy in South African couples

Alcohol consumption and beliefs about mixing alcohol and ART are associated with decreased adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART). In this study, w....