year in review 2018 Paperturn - Page 63



Photo HIVR4P/Leon Gutierrez
2018: A YEAR IN REVIEW | SOCIAL RESPONSIVENESS
‘FEARLESS’ HIV ACTIVIST
WINS TUTU AWARD
In recognition of her outstanding work to advance both HIV
prevention research and the human rights of people affected by HIV,
UCT Professor of Medicine Linda-Gail Bekker was awarded the 2018
Desmond Tutu Award for HIV Prevention Research and Human Rights.
those traditionally overlooked by
the health system, her citation said.
The mobile “Tutu testers” she has
championed take voluntary HIV
testing, counselling and information
to communities throughout South
Africa.
In the research field, Bekker has
advanced efforts to integrate the
diagnosis, treatment and care of
HIV and tuberculosis. She has also
co-led international research studies
to develop innovative new HIV
prevention methods and has called
for increased financial and political
support for HIV prevention research.
“This award reminds us that,
ultimately, all the work we do is to
improve the lives and well-being
of men, women and young people
... and that’s what really matters,”
Bekker said.
The award was presented at the
2018 HIV Research for Prevention
(HIVR4P) conference in Madrid,
Spain, in October.
University of Zimbabwe professor
Zvavahera Mike Chirenje, HIVR4P cochair, described Bekker as “tireless
and innovative”.
“From her clinics in the ... townships
of Cape Town, to her role as chief
operating officer of the Desmond
Tutu HIV Foundation and in her
capacity as immediate past president
of the International Aids Society,
Linda-Gail’s fearless advocacy and
personalised models of care have
saved lives and helped to break down
barriers of stigma and discrimination
in HIV prevention,” he said.
Bekker’s user-friendly clinics
offer models of service that engage
and welcome everyone, especially
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