Top

What We Do:

Wits RHI is a hybrid research and implementation Institute that is dynamic, progressive, and responsive to global and local health emergencies. We pioneer cutting-edge science and innovation in the fields of infectious and vaccine preventable diseases; sexual and reproductive health; antimicrobial resistance,climate change and emerging crises.

Our strength lies in our multi-disciplinary and holistic approach to improving health outcomes at a local and global level through research, technical assistance, advocacy, policy development, implementation science and health systems strengthening. We identify health problems through sound epidemiological methods and qualitative research, and use a range of analytic and research methods to generate evidence and test and evaluate interventions in a real word setting.
We are the largest and most renowned research institute affiliated with the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), a world class African University.

We are a Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) and South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) collaborating centre and a strategic partner to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Who We Serve

Our work is focused on populations that are most in need, marginalized, or hard to reach. These include:

  • Pregnant women and mother-infant pairs
  • Women
  • Key populations including adolescents, sex workers and LGBTQI people
  • Adults and children living with HIV and TB

Where we are

Hillbrow Health Precinct

The Wits RHI head office is in the Hillbrow Health Precinct (HHP) which was established in 2004 with the aim creating a visionary, world-first environment that stands at the intersection of urban regeneration, cutting edge research and community based health care.
Since inception it has delivered outstanding health services and health care worker training, developed best practice models and implemented world class research addressing a range of critical health areas, poverty and urban renewal in Johannesburg’s inner city.

It is a model of co-operation, uniting the Gauteng Department of Health, the City of Johannesburg and Wits University represented by Wits RHI together into a unique and effective partnership.

Five previously derelict buildings have been renovated to house offices, The Shandukani and Ward 21 research sites, patient treatment clinics, three A Grade Pharmacies, and three laboratories.

South Africa

Wits RHI projects work out of 52 sites across South Africa. Most of these sites are projects where we deliver key Implementation Science and Health Programs projects, including HIV prevention, HIV and TB care to general and key populations.

Africa

We have collaborated with organisations across Africa for many years. At present we work with partners in 18 African countries.

Wits RHI in Numbers

Staff Members
2500+
Research and Implementation Sites
50
Current Active Grants
95
Academic Joint Appointments
51
Provides technological support to national, regional, and global committees (2023)
128
Published academic journals and book chapters (2023)
111
People initiated onto PrEP ( 2018 – 2024)
330000
People treated monthly for HIV (2023)
650000

Our leadership

Helen Rees

Executive Director

Sinead Delany-Moretlwe

Director: Research

Thesla Palanee-Phillips

Director: Clinical Trials

Lee Fairlie

Director: Maternal and Child Health

Saiqa Mullick

Director: Implementation Science

John Imrie

Director: Health Programmes

Latest Publications

Key programmatic and policy considerations for introducing multipurpose prevention (MPT) methods: reflections from healthcare providers and key stakeholders in South Africa

Multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) simultaneously prevent HIV, other sexually transmitted infections, and/or unintended pregnancy. Key gatekeepers, [healthcare providers (HCPs) and key stakeholders] require proactive engagement before product implementation. This manuscript identifies HCP demand creation strategies, key stakeholder considerations for the adoption of MPTs in South Africa.

View more

Key programmatic and policy considerations for introducing multipurpose prevention (MPT) methods: reflections from healthcare providers and key stakeholders in South Africa

Multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) simultaneously prevent HIV, other sexually transmitted infections, and/or unintended pregnancy. Key gatekeepers, [healthcare providers (HCPs) and key stakeholders] require proactive engagement before product implementation. This manuscript…

View more

Experiences of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis use among heterosexual men accessing sexual and reproductive health services in South Africa: a qualitative study

South African men face a substantial burden of HIV and are less likely to test for HIV and initiate antiretroviral therapy if tested positive and more likely to die from…

View more

Baseline preferences for oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) or dapivirine intravaginal ring for HIV prevention among adolescent girls and young women in South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe (MTN-034/IPM-045 study)

Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in sub-Saharan Africa are disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic and face an array of challenges using proven behavioral and biomedical prevention methods. To…

View more

Prevention method preferences and factors influencing hypothetical choice among women in South Africa: a survey exploring opportunities for a multipurpose prevention technology implant

South African women bear an intersecting burden of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancy. Multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) are a class of products that address multiple needs and…

View more

Wits RHI in the News

Professor Sinead Delany-Moretlwe, Director of Research at Wits RHI, told…

Read article

The African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator, launched in Paris on 20…

Read article

Early results from an HIV prevention trial show that an…

Read article

Our Donors and Partners

To explore the comprehensive list of our generous donors and esteemed partners, simply click on the buttons provided below.

Stay up to date

Get updates on news, resources, events and happenings from Wits RHI.