How Epidemiology and Prevention in Young Women Can Achieve an AIDS-free Generation

The war against AIDS is fought on many fronts. Whether it is raising awareness about safe sex, developing preventive measures or working with patients in hospitals, on a vaccine or a cure: tackling the largest HIV epidemic in the world (with an estimated 6.2 million people affected in South Africa) demands dedication, ingenuity and endurance. Thankfully, the South African epidemiologist, Quarraisha Abdool Karim possesses an abundance of these traits which helped her make huge advances in highlighting the vulnerability of adolescent girls and young women and developing novel strategies to prevent HIV infection and reduce AIDS related deaths. Her institution, CAPRISA, a UNAIDS Collaborating Center for HIV Research and Policy in Durban, is involved in a wide range of activities – from developing vaccines to behavioural studies on HIV transmission – all with the goal to get a grip on South Africa’s AIDS epidemic through preventing infection in young women. By studying the evolving epidemic; social drivers of the epidemic and demonstrating the preventive benefit of anti-retrovirals in HIV uninfected women, Quarraisha and her team have made substantial contributions to preventing new HIV infections. Their research produced the world’s first women initiated HIV prevention technology and was ranked among the Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs of 2010 in Science magazine. For her outstanding work, Quarraisha was awarded South Africa’s highest honour, the order of Order of Mapungubwe, the pinnacle World Academy of Science TWAS-Lenovo Award, and the prestigious L’Oréal-UNESCO Laureate Award for Women in Science. At Falling Walls, she shows the central importance of HIV prevention in young women to alter the current global epidemic trajectories and the momentous contribution that innovative science and medical technology can make to disease prevention and global health.

Quarraisha Abdool Karim

CAPRISA, Durban

Quarraisha Abdool Karim, the Associate Scientific Director of the UNAIDS Collaborating Centre for HIV Research and Policy (CAPRISA), is an infectious diseases epidemiologist who made ground-breaking contributions in understanding the evolution of the HIV epidemic in South Africa and its impact on society. Her policy work in advancing Aids prevention in women, while simultaneously fighting for the rights of people affected by the disease, have contributed to her reputation as one of the world’s foremost medical and scientific authorities in the field of HIV and Aids research.

More Breakthroughs

All Breakthroughs

Further Activities to have a look at

We use cookies and other technologies to collect data about your use of our site and about your browser, device and location. We process this data to help us understand how the site is used and to personalize our content and the advertising you see on this and other sites we also share this data with advertising, social media and analytics partners for the same purposes. By choosing “Accept All” you agree that we store cookies on your device and process the data for the aforementioned purposes . You may revoke your consent at any time by choosing the respective settings. For more information on the processing of personal data and what specific services we use see our Privacy Policy

Privacy Preference Center

We use cookies and other technologies to collect data about your use of our site and about your browser, device and location. We process this data to help us understand how the site is used and to personalize our content and the advertising you see on this and other sites we also share this data with advertising, social media and analytics partners for the same purposes. By choosing “Accept All” you agree that we store cookies on your device and process the data for the aforementioned purposes . You may revoke your consent at any time by choosing the respective settings. For more information on the processing of personal data and what specific services we use see our Privacy Policy

Necessary Cookies

These cookies are required to provide you with our site and its functions. Since storing these cookies is necessary for the provision of our site and its functions, you cannot disable them. If you block these cookies via you browser settings our site may not function properly.

Analyse Cookies

These cookies enable us to use website analytics in order to improve our site or provide you with personalized content. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages.

Marketing Cookies

These cookies enable us to use online marketing and advertising in order to provide you on this or on other sites with personalized advertisement. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages.