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The Aurum Institute and IAS to Present the Inaugural Gita Ramjee Prize at HIVR4P // Virtual

The Aurum Institute and IAS to Present the Inaugural Gita Ramjee Prize at HIVR4P // Virtual

Johannesburg, 25 January 2021- The Aurum Institute, in collaboration with the International AIDS Society (IAS), will present the inaugural Gita Ramjee Prize at the upcoming HIV Research for Prevention Conference (HIVR4P // Virtual). The award, given in memory of Aurum’s late Chief Scientific Officer, Professor Gita Ramjee, will recognise leading female scientists in the field of HIV prevention research who demonstrate the principles and practices Prof Ramjee embodied in her life and career: a commitment to generate evidence, uplift disadvantaged communities and promote gender transformation.

The award will be given to a top-scoring author of an abstract to be presented at HIVR4P // Virtual, as part of the Thursday 28 January plenary session at the conference.

Prof Ramjee was a long-time member of the IAS, who dedicated her life to HIV prevention and treatment research and contributed substantially to advancing HIV prevention among women in South Africa.

Prof Ramjee passed away on 31 March 2020 due to COVID-19 related complications leaving behind an extensive body of work. She published more than 200 research articles and was a reviewer and editor of several scientific journals and a member of several local and international committees and advisory groups. Over the years she received numerous awards including, the European Development Clinical Trials Partnerships (EDCTP) Outstanding Female Scientist Award, International Microbicide Conference Lifetime Achievement Award and the South African Medical Research Council (MRC) Scientific Merit Gold Medal Award.

Prior to taking up her appointment as Chief Scientific Officer: HIV Prevention, at Aurum, Prof Ramjee was Chief Specialist Scientist and Director of the HIV Prevention Research Unit at the MRC. She held Honorary Professorships at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the University of Washington in Seattle and the University of Cape Town.

“She was a bold and compassionate leader in the response to HIV. She firmly believed in health as a fundamental human right. Her ground-breaking research in HIV prevention contributed hugely to the global response to HIV and AIDS,” said Professor Gavin Churchyard, Group CEO of The Aurum Institute.

Prof Linda-Gail Bekker, IAS Past President described Prof Ramjee as, “An unapologetic champion for South African women. She combined passion with a beautiful, elegant spirit.”

The winner of the inaugural Gita Ramjee Prize will be announced at the opening plenary of the IAS 4th HIV Research for Prevention Conference, taking place virtually on 28 January 2021. 


For more information contact Nosipho Mngoma, Communications Specialist, The Aurum Institute, +27 72 541 8282, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


About The Aurum Institute

Established in 1998, the Aurum Institute is an African Health Impact organisation whose mission is to improve the health of people and communities living in poverty through innovation in global health research, systems, and delivery. It is rooted in Africa and is dedicated to researching, supporting, and implementing innovative, integrated approaches to Global Health. Its headquarters are in South Africa with offices in the USA, Switzerland, Ghana, Lesotho and Mozambique. The Aurum Institute has developed itself into a leader in the field of TB and HIV, bridging the worlds of research, policy, and implementation for impact.


About the IAS

The International AIDS Society (IAS) leads collective action on every front of the global HIV response through its membership base, scientific authority and convening power. Founded in 1988, the IAS is the world’s largest association of HIV professionals, with members in more than 170 countries. Working with its members, the IAS advocates and drives urgent action to reduce the impact of HIV. The IAS is also the steward of the world’s most prestigious HIV conferences: The International AIDS Conference, the IAS Conference on HIV Science, and the HIV Research for Prevention Conference.


About HIVR4P

HIVR4P fosters interdisciplinary knowledge-exchange on HIV vaccines, microbicides, PrEP, treatment as prevention and biomedical interventions as well as their related social and behavioral implications. The great strength of HIVR4P is the participation of researchers, policymakers, implementers and advocates working across the spectrum of biomedical interventions and scientific disciplines informing state-of-the-art HIV prevention from pre-clinical research through to implementation.

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