Kenyan Professor Receives Prestigious Award for HIV Research in Africa

December 2015 KeyCorrespondents; Kenyan Professor Elizabeth Bukusi has received the 2015 Biomedical HIV Prevention Forum Distinguished Scholar Award for making significant contributions to the science and development of biomedical HIV interventions in Africa.

Professor Bukusi was recognised for her outstanding contributions to develop female-initiated methods of HIV prevention such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), microbicides and multiple prevention technologies. Such technologies allow women and girls to address sexual and reproductive health issues with one product and includes things like vaccines, contraceptives, microbicides and intravaginal devices.

The award was presented at the 2015 Biomedical HIV Prevention Forum, held in Harare, Zimbabwe on 29 November 2015. This event was part of the run up to the 18th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) on 29 November to 4 December 2015. The World AIDS Campaign also participated in hosting the forum.

Research to address health in Africa

The award recognises the significant steps taken by Professor Bukusi to adapt research to address the health needs of Africa. She has prioritised the engagement of African communities in the design and implementation of the research.

Professor Bukusi said that she was greatly humbled by the award. “It is a great honour. I dedicate it to the many young women who need a voice for change and who need to have us find solutions for their health needs. I am grateful to the very large team who support me – ‘the villagers’ who are needed for health research to be a reality. I am also grateful to God for such an honour.”

Professor Bukusi has also been invited to give the Biomedical HIV Prevention Forum Distinguished Scholar Award Lecture for 2015.

Recognition and achievements

Professor Mike Chirenje of the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences, Department of Obstestrics and Gynaecology said: “Africa is currently witnessing a lot of HIV research especially focusing on biomedical HIV prevention interventions. Involving communities in research activities will give them a sense of ownership in the activities rather than researchers and scientists imposing results or outcomes on communities. HIV research interventions being conducted by scientists or researchers in their own locations with community involvement will ultimately result in community ownership and progress in the battle to find lasting solutions to new HIV infections.”



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