Quarraisha Abdool Karim named as UNAIDS Special Ambassador for Adolescents & HIV

13 December 2017

CAPRISA’s Associate Scientific Director, Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, has been appointed as a UNAIDS Special Ambassador. In this new role, she will focus on adolescents and HIV, while also championing the involvement of young women in science.

“I am delighted that Quarraisha Abdool Karim has accepted this position,” said Mr Michel Sidibé, Executive Director UNAIDS”.

Sidibè made the announcement at the launch of the UNAIDS report, Right to Health, on Monday 20 November, at the Michael Mapongwana Community Health Centre, Harare, Khayelitsha, in Cape Town. There was a strong community presence at the event, which was attended by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, representatives of TAC and several civil society organisations.

Sidibè said that Abdool Karim was “a strong and consistent champion of young people living with and affected by HIV.” He said that she will use her new honorary position as Special Ambassador “to continue to translate scientific research and knowledge into people-centred solutions and prevention programmes to reduce the factors making young people so vulnerable to HIV infection. UNAIDS looks forward to supporting her work.”

Responding to her appointment Abdool Karim said that “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.”

Abdool Karim has made pioneering contributions to understanding the HIV epidemic in young people, especially in young women.

Michel  Sidibè (left), Executive Director UNAIDS, presents a certificate of appointment as a UNAIDS Special Ambassador for Adolescents and HIV to Professor Quarraisha Abdool  Karim (middle). On her left is the South African Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi