Top South African AIDS Researchers Win Global Lifetime Achievement Award

Two of South Africa’s top AIDS researchers – Professors Salim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim – will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service from the Institute for Human Virology (IHV) in America for their awesome contributions to the global AIDS response.

The Institute is currently hosting its 19th Annual International Meeting of Top Medical Virus Researchers in Maryland, USA.

The two Infectious Disease Epidemiologists, who are married, will be honoured with the prominent award during a gala on Wednesday at the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore, surrounded by hundreds of elite scientists from around the world.

IHV’s Director Dr Robert Gallo said: “To me, both of these renowned individuals have made some of the greatest contributions in the history of HIV/AIDS in public health and epidemiology relevant to prevention and care of infected people.

“I don’t know any person or persons who have done more to advance the proper care of people with HIV infection or the prevention of HIV infection among a population.”

Quarraisha Abdool Karim is Associate Scientific Director of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in SA (Caprisa) and her husband Salim is Director. Both are Professors of Epidemiology at Columbia University in New York, and honorary academics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Born in Tongaat in 1960, Quarraish has won several international awards.

They said they are “deeply appreciative” of the recognition and accept the award on behalf also of the thousands of South African participants in their research. The couple, who are parents, are mainly focussed on preventing HIV in women in Africa. One of their landmark studies – in 2010 – involved demonstrating that antiretrovirals can prevent sexual transmission of HIV. Their research has also shown a world first – that the same tenofovir gel can prevent genital herpes.

The two inspiring researchers are featured in the Academy of Science SA’s new book “Legends of South African Science”.

Source: BusinessWire