Acclaimed South African Indian-origin AIDS researcher Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim was recently appointed as a The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Special Ambassador for Adolescents and HIV.
Professor Abdool Karim is one of the world's leading AIDS researchers and has made pioneering contributions to understanding the HIV epidemic among young people, especially among young women. She is a strong advocate for the rights of people living with and affected by HIV.
In her new role as a UNAIDS Special Ambassador, the Indian-origin Professor will focus on adolescents and HIV, while also championing the involvement of young women in science. "As we increase our understanding of the HIV epidemic and the transmission dynamics that place young people at higher risk of infection, all sectors of society must work together to make sure that adolescents have access to the information and services that can keep them safe and well through a crucial period of their lives and into adulthood," said Professor Abdool Karim.
Professor Abdool Karim is Professor in Clinical Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, United States of America, and an Honorary Professor in Public Health at the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In 2013, she was awarded South Africa's highest honour, the Order of Mapungubwe, for her contribution to the response to HIV. She is also a member of the UNAIDS Scientific Expert Panel and Scientific Adviser to the Executive Director of UNAIDS.
UNAIDS leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS- related deaths.