The Population Council, headquartered in New York, has announced the appointment of SA Aids researcher, Salim Abdool Karim, to the Council Board of Trustees. Karim, a clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist is the director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South African (CAPRISA), CAPRISA professor of global health at Columbia University in New York and honorary pro vice-chancellor (research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Karim’s contributions to the global Aids response spans over three decades – he is widely recognised for his research to prevent HIV infection in women in Africa. Karim and his team were the first to demonstrate that antiretrovirals can prevent sexual transmission of HIV through the CAPRISA 004 tenofovir gel trial, the results of which were presented at the Vienna AIDS Conference in 2010. He and his team also demonstrated that tenofovir gel can prevent genital herpes‚ this was the first drug shown to be effective against the herpes simplex type-2 virus. He is co-inventor on patents which have been used in several HIV vaccine candidates and his clinical research on TB-HIV treatment has shaped international guidelines on the clinical management of co-infected patients.
In October 2017, Karim and his wife, Dr. Quarraisha Abdool Karim, associate scientific director of CAPRISA, received the Institute for Human Virology (IHV) Lifetime Achievement Award for exceptional public service for their contributions to the global Aids response.
Currently the chair of the UNAIDS Scientific Expert Panel and the World Health Organisation’s strategic and technical advisory committee on HIV and hepatitis, Karim also serves on the Gates Foundation’s Global Health Scientific Advisory Board and the World Health Organisation’s HIV-TB Task Force. Karim also sits on the Population Council’s Microbicides Advisory Board.
Karim joins 15 other board members at the Population Council, drawing from six different countries and diverse areas of expertise, including demography, economics, education, HIV and Aids, international law, obstetrics and gynaecology, public health and reproductive health.
The Population Council confronts critical health and development issues – from stopping the spread of HIV to improving reproductive health and ensuring that young people lead full and productive lives. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research in 50 countries, we work with our partners to deliver solutions that lead to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world. Established in 1952 and headquartered in New York, the Council is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation governed by an international board of trustees.