DURBAN - A South African HIV/Aids researcher will be bestowed with a prestigious award for his efforts in prevention and treatment of the virus.
Professor Salim Abdool Karim, the director of the Centre for AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (Caprisa), is this year's recipient of the prestigious Al Sumait Prize.
Karim is a clinical infectious disease epidemiologist who is widely recognised for his research contributions towards HIV prevention and treatment. He will receive the award for his research contributions to African Development.
The award, comprising $500 000 (R6.8m) prize and a gold medal, will be handed to him by the Amir of Kuwait at an awards ceremony to be held in December in Kuwait.
Karim told the Sunday Tribune that he is deeply humbled and honoured by the award as it recognised research in Africa, not just recognising his contribution but also recognising scientists in South Africa and around the world.
"My wife and myself worked in the poorest communities for 30 years and we were alarmed by the high rates in which young women were contracting HIV and we felt it was our duty to do something about it," said Karim.
Karim added that their work however, was far from done as more than 5000 new infections were contracted around the world daily.
Professor Francoise Barre'-Sinoussi, who received a Nobel Prize Laureate for discovering HIV, congratulated Karim on receiving this award, saying 'this is well-deserved recognition for Professor Abdool Karim for his excellent research that has made a major impact on the HIV epidemic in Africa."
The Al-Sumait prize recognises the best studies, scientific projects, applied research, innovative initiatives that have a significant impact and lasting influence on advancing progress to economic and social development in Africa.
The two other awardees for 2018, Professor Sheila West of Johns Hopkins University (United States) and the Rakai Project Research Team of Uganda, will each receive $250 000 (R3.4m) and medals.