CAPRISA designated a Centre of Excellence for HIV prevention. 23/04/2015
Published at UNAIDS
16 April 2015
The Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has been designated as a National Research Foundation Centre of Excellence for HIV prevention by the South African Department of Science and Technology. The announcement was made on 14 April at the opening of the annual CAPRISA Scientific Advisory Board meeting, held in Durban, South Africa.
CAPRISA, a UNAIDS Collaborating Centre for HIV Research and Policy, has been recognized for its pioneering work in cutting-edge research as well as for its training programme for doctoral and medical students.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Luiz Loures, Deputy Executive Director of UNAIDS, emphasised the critical role CAPRISA plays in global efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
The need to find new ways to prevent new HIV infections among young women and girls between the ages of 15 and 24 in South Africa emerged as a clear priority during the meeting, since they remain at a much higher risk of HIV infection than boys and young men of the same age group. The participants agreed that scientists have a key role to play in understanding and addressing the gender gap, in partnership with government and civil society.
Established and emerging scientists from around South Africa presented innovations in HIV and tuberculosis-related science at the meeting that will provide a direction for current and future scientific research led by CAPRISA.
At a press conference, CAPRISA also announced that Nobel Laureate Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, was appointed to its Scientific Advisory Board for a three-year term. Along with fellow board members, she will guide and advise CAPRISA on research ideas and plans.
“UNAIDS has outlined a critical Fast-Track strategy to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030. Countries will need powerful tools to maximize accountability and ensure that no one is left behind. South Africa is committed to support and conduct scientific research to make sure that we achieve our targets.”
“We need a convergence of science, commitment, activism and funding to reduce new HIV infections among young women and girls. No country can work in isolation and we need to think on a global level to address this challenge.”
“The progress we made in the AIDS response undoubtedly brought hope to people. However, we need science to keep this hope alive. UNAIDS is proud to be working closely with CAPRISA. Together with UNAIDS, research institutes like the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa are critical to ensuring that science is working for and with people, especially those being left behind by the current AIDS response.”