Infectious Diseases epidemiologist awarded the pre-eminent Christophe Mérieux Prize
Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Associate Scientific Director of CAPRISA, has been awarded the 2020 prestigious Christophe Mérieux Prize, endowed with 500 000 Euros, presented by the Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux-Institut de France, for her work on the prevention and treatment of HIV in women. The Foundation made the announcement on 27th May, 2020. The Deputy President of South Africa, Mr David Mabuza congratulated Abdool Karim and said her achievements ‘signifies that our country has once again, demonstrated its capabilities to provide solutions to global challenges’.
“ With this award, also comes an opportunity to continue advancing the research being done at CAPRISA on expanding HIV prevention options for young women,” said Abdool Karim. “ It is a great honour for me and the CAPRISA research team, to be recognized by the Christophe Meriuex Foundation. She added that “past recipients of this fairly recently established award are giants in their field and it is a privilege to follow in their footsteps.”
Over the past 30 years her pioneering research as an infectious diseases epidemiologist has focused on understanding the evolving HIV epidemic in Africa and its prevention among adolescent girls and young women who continue to bear a disproportionately high burden of HIV infection. She described the epidemiological "cycle of HIV transmission" in South Africa, where young women largely contract HIV from men who are 8-10 years and older.
She and the CAPRISA Team continue to pursue novel approaches to prevent HIV infection in women including broadly neutralizing antibodies and antiretroviral-based annual implants.