Deborah Baron is a trained public health professional with over 15 years’ experience working in the HIV/AIDS and gender empowerment fields, with the past eight years based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mrs. Baron is based at the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (RHI), where she manages large projects and works on multi-party HIV prevention research consortiums.
She has particular interests in implementing Good Participatory Practice and combination HIV prevention programmes for young women, including integrating female-controlled biomedical ARV-based HIV prevention methods with structural interventions. She currently is the Project Manager for EMPOWER, a DFID-funded research consortium led by RHI that will design and implement an evaluation of a combination HIV prevention intervention that includes oral PrEP for adolescent girls and young women in South Africa and Tanzania. She is also a member of the DFID-funded STRIVE Consortium and its Biomedical Working Group, which focuses on structural factors, including gender-based violence, alcohol and gender norms that may influence people’s ability to uptake and adhere to user-initiated ARV-based HIV prevention tools, such as PrEP and microbicides.
Between 2010-2015, she served as the Consortium Manager of the South African-led Follow-on African Consortium for Tenofovir Studies (FACTS), which reported in February 2015 that FACTS 001, a phase III licensure trial that tested tenofovir gel used before and after sex was not effective in preventing sexually-transmitted HIV-1 in women.
Mrs. Baron holds an MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health and a Master of International Affairs from SIPA, Columbia University in New York.