University of KwaZulu-Natal honours triad of AIDS leaders
The University of KwaZulu-Natal honoured three distinguished global AIDS leaders: Dr Robert Gallo Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland, UNAIDS Executive Director Mr Michel Sidibe and CAPRISA Director Prof Salim Abdool Karim for their exceptional contributions in the fight against AIDS. They were honoured at the UKZN graduation ceremonies held in April.
Dr Robert Gallo was awarded the Doctor of Science degree (honoris causa) on 14th April in recognition of his ground breaking discoveries and outstanding scientific contributions in virology. Dr Gallo is best known for his discovery of two retroviruses, the only known human leukaemia virus – HTLV, the human herpes virus, the interleukin-2, and chemokines. He also made significant contributions to demonstrating that HIV is the cause of AIDS.
Professor Salim Abdool Karim who is widely recognised for his scientific contributions in HIV prevention and treatment was awarded a Fellowship of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, his alma mater, in recog-nition of distinguished academic achievement and as one of the most influential South African and global HIV scientists.
Mr Michel Sidibé was awarded the degree Doctor of Administration (honoris causa) on 15th April in recognition of his contribution to humanity and his influence in shaping South Africa’s policies on HIV and AIDS as well as his extraordinary record of international public health service and leadership in catalyzing the global movement for universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention and support. Michel Sidibé’s global advocacy firmly secured the fight against HIV/AIDS at the top of political agendas, including in South Africa.