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The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is proud to congratulate its honorary academics, Professors Salim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim, for receiving the prestigious Institute for Human Virology (IHV) Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was conferred on the husband and wife team in acknowledgment of the pair’s contribution to the global response to HIV and AIDS.

UKZN is honoured to be associated with these eminent researchers who have contributed immensely to the world’s understanding of the pathogenesis, epidemiology, and prevention of HIV.  Through groundbreaking studies like the CAPRISA 004 tenofovir gel trial, the Abdool Karims have stamped their mark as being among the world’s foremost authorities in the field of HIV/AIDS research.

The lifetime achievement award was presented to the Abdool Karims on Wednesday, 25 October 2017, at the 19th International meeting of the Institute for Human Virology held in Baltimore, in the United States. Befitting to the occasion, the award was presented them by the world-renowned researcher, Dr Robert Gallo who is famous for discovering that HIV causes AIDS.

Last year Gallo received an honorary doctorate from UKZN in recognition of his pioneering role in the field of HIV/AIDS research.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal is one of the five founding partners of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) of which the Abdool Karims are part. Professor Salim Abdool Karim is the Director of the Centre while Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim is its Associate Scientific Director. UKZN’s association with CAPRISA was borne out of a common commitment to research that benefits society through addressing immediate societal challenges and needs.

While the battle is far from over, it is encouraging to note that the country has made significant strides in its response to the epidemic. Pioneers like the Abdool Karims and institutions like CAPRISA have contributed to the turnaround we are celebrating today.

While their work is not done for any personal gain or fame, we hope that the recognition the Abdool Karims continue to receive, both locally and internationally, will spur them on in their pursuit to generate new knowledge on this very important field.

The Abdool Karims are still hard searching for new ways to prevent the transmission of HIV and we, therefore, have no doubt that they will continue making us proud as a country.

 

Dr Albert van Jaarsveld

Vice-Chancellor and Principal