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Abdool Karims Receive Prestigious Global Health Award


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Abdool Karims Receive Prestigious Global Health Award

AAS Fellows and Epidemiologists Salim Abdool Karim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim, professors at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, were named the 2020 John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award laureates for their outstanding achievements in global health research. The Gairdner Foundation recognizes some of the world‘s most significant biomedical research and discoveries.

The Abdool Karims received the award “for their discovery that antiretrovirals prevent sexual transmission of HIV, which laid the foundations for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the HIV prevention strategy that is contributing to the reduction of HIV infection in Africa and around the world,” according to a news item on the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) website.

Salim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim‘s groundbreaking CAPRISA 004 trial showed that tenofovir gel prevents both HIV infection and genital herpes. The finding was ranked in the “Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs of 2010” by the journal Science and was heralded by UNAIDS and WHO as one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs in AIDS. Their work provided the first evidence for PrEP. CAPRISA 004 and several clinical trials of oral tenofovir led to the WHO recommendation of a daily tenofovir-containing pill for PrEP as a standard HIV prevention tool for all those at high risk.

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