Maria Lahuerta

Maria Lahuerta

Maria Lahuerta

Strong monitoring and surveillance systems are essential to identify gaps in services among key and vulnerable populations in need of targeted interventions
Assistant Professor
Epidemiology (in ICAP)

Office/Address:

60 Haven Ave B1 floor

New York NY United States 10032


Phone:
212-342-0505
Website address: Email:

Biography

Dr. Maria Lahuerta is an epidemiologist and public health specialist with more than 14 years of experience in research on infectious diseases, program evaluation and surveillance. Supporting many of ICAP's projects in sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Americas, Dr. Lahuerta oversees the design and implementation of data systems to monitor ongoing programs and evaluate their impact. She leads HIV surveillance activities among key populations, including female sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender women and people who inject drugs. These surveys are essential to monitor the HIV epidemic and obtain key data to improve prevention and treatment services for key populations. Dr. Lahuerta also leads implementation science research studies and evaluations that help evidenced-based interventions become part of routine services. For example, she led a mixed-methods evaluation of intermittent preventive treatment among infants, a new intervention to prevent malaria among infants in Sierra Leone. She also supports several studies to optimize the delivery of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa. To bolster the global response to public health threats during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, Dr. Lahuerta leads global health security activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo to strengthen the country's capacity to prevent, detect, and respond quickly to infectious disease threats.

Education

PhD, 2009, University of Barcelona
MPH, 2009, Columbia University

Mailman Affiliations

Deputy Director, Strategic Information Unit, ICAP

Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology

Select Global Activities

Global Health Security, Democratic Republic of Congo: In focused efforts to strengthen the country's public health system, ICAP is supporting the Ebola and COVID-19 response by enhancing health facility capacity to prevention, detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. Specific interventions include efforts to strengthen DRC's national laboratory system as well as the provision of technical support in the implementation of IPC measures across the country's health system at the national, provincial, and facility levels.

HIV Surveillance among Key Populations, Zambia: With funding from CDC, ICAP at Columbia University is working with the National AIDS Council of Zambia, the Tropical Disease Research Council, and community-based organizations to strengthen Zambia's HIV/STI surveillance systems in order to understand the HIV epidemic among these key populations. By conducting regular bio-behavioral surveys (IBBS), ICAP and its partners are gathering data on HIV/STI prevalence and risk behaviors, as well as the size of these key populations, to support strategic planning for increasing access and utilization of HIV-related services.

Select Publications

Maria Lahuerta, Roberta Sutton, Anthony Mansaray, Oliver Eleeza, Brigette Gleason, Adewale Akinjeji, Mohamed F Jalloh, Mame Toure, Getachew Kassa, Steven R Meshnick, Molly Deutsch-Feldman, Lauren Parmley, Michael Friedman, Samuel Juana Smith, Miriam Rabkin, Laura Steinhardt. Evaluation of health system readiness and coverage of intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in infants (IPTi) in Kambia district to inform national scale-up in Sierra Leone. Malar J 2021 Feb 6;20(1):74. doi: 10.1186/s12936-021-03615-3.

Maria Lahuerta, Maureen Syowai, Shobha Vakil, Jacob Odhiambo, Mwenda Gitonga, Nandita Sugandhi, Stanslaus Odhiambo, Maureen Kimani, Joyce Wamicwe, James Batuka, Evans Imbuki, Kigen Bartilol, Elaine J Abrams. Monitoring the Transition to New Antiretroviral Treatment Regimens Through an Enhanced Data System in Kenya. PLoS One 2020 Apr 23;15(4):e0232104.

Maria Lahuerta, Allison Zerbe, Rachel Baggaley, Joana Falcao, Laurence Ahoua, Pietro DiMattei, Fernando Morales, Isaias Ramiro, Ramadane Sumara, Wafaa M. El-Sadr. Feasibility, acceptability and adherence with short term PrEP in female sexual partners of migrant miners in Mozambique. JAIDS. 2017 Dec 1;76(4):343-347

Maria Lahuerta, Padmaja Patnaik, Tako Ballo, Nouhoum Telly, Justin Knox, Bouyagui Traore, Seydou Doumbia, Avi Hakim. HIV Prevalence and Related Risk Factors in Men who Have Sex with Men in Bamako, Mali: Findings from a bio-behavioral survey using respondent-driven sampling. AIDS & Behavior. May 2017. PMID: 28516378

Maria Lahuerta, Yingfeng Wu, Susie Hoffman, Batya Elul, Sarah Gorrell Kulkarni, Robert Remien, Wafaa El Sadr, and Denis Nash. Advanced HIV disease at entry into HIV care and ART initiation in the maintenance phase of HIV treatment scale-up in 4 sub-Saharan African Countries. Clinical Infection Diseases 2014 Feb;58(3):432-41

Maria Lahuerta, Gilbert Tene, Veronicah Mugisha, Leonard Kayonde, Ribakare Muhayimpundu, J.P. Nyemazi, Greet Vandebriel, Sabin Nsanzimana, Ruben Sahabo, Peter Twyman, Elaine J. Abrams. High retention among HIV pediatric patients in Rwanda during scale-up and decentralization of HIV care and treatment programs. Pediatric Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2013 Feb 12.

Maria Lahuerta, Frances Ue, Susie Hoffman, Batya Elul, Sarah Gorrell Kulkarni, Yingfeng Wu, Harriet Nuwagaba-Biribonwoha, Robert Remien, Wafaa El Sadr, and Denis Nash. The problem of late ART initiation in sub-Saharan Africa: a transient aspect of scale-up or a long-term phenomenon? Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Undeserved 2013 Feb; 24(1).

Maria Lahuerta, Josue Lima, Harriet Nuwagaba-Biribonwoha, Mie Okamura, Maria Fernanda Alvim, Rufino Fernandes, Americo Assan, David Hoos, Batya Elul, Wafaa M. El-Sadr, and Denis Nash. Factors associated with late antiretroviral therapy initiation among adults in Mozambique. PloS One 2012 May; 7(5): e37125

Maria Lahuerta, Josue Lima, Batya Elul, Mie Okamura, Maria Fernanda Alvim, Harriet Nuwagaba-Birinbonwoha, Deborah Horowitz, Rufino Fernandes, Americo Assan, Elaine J. Abrams, Wafaa M. El-Sadr, and Denis Nash. Patients enrolled in HIV care in Mozambique: Baseline characteristics and follow-up outcomes. JAIDS 2011 Nov 1;58(3):e75-86.

Maria Lahuerta, Meritxell Sabido, Federica Giardina, Gabriela Hernandez, Juan Fernando Palacios, Rudy Ortiz, Victor Hugo Fernandez, Jordi Casabona. Comparison of users of an HIV/syphilis screening community-based mobile van and traditional voluntary counselling and testing sites in Guatemala. Sexually Transmitted Infection Journal 2011 Mar;87(2):136-40

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