World renowned HIV scientist Professor Gita Ramjee dies of COVID-19 complications

World renowned HIV scientist Professor Gita Ramjee dies of COVID-19 complications

Professor Ramjee
Professor Gita Ramjee, a world-renowned scientist from South Africa, has died from COVID-19 related complications. She was 64.

Professor Ramjee was the chief scientific officer at the Aurum Institute, a leading authority in the field of HIV and TB.

She was a critical player in the field of HIV prevention clinical trials, and worked tirelessly throughout her career to find HIV prevention solutions, particularly for women.

She was acknowledged internationally for her expertise in the field of microbicide research, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award for HIV Prevention.

Two years ago, she was honoured with the “Outstanding Female Scientist” award by the European Development Clinical Trials Partnerships.

Prior to her appointment as Chief Scientific Officer at the Aurum Institute, Professor Ramjee was Chief Specialist Scientist and Director of the HIV Prevention Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council.

She held honorary professorships at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of Washington, and University of Cape Town.

Professor Ramjee published more than 200 research articles in her time, and was also a reviewer and editor of several scientific journals.

“The passing of Prof Ramjee comes as a huge blow to the entirety of the healthcare sector and the global fight against HIV/Aids,” South Africa’s Deputy President David Mabuza said in a statement.

“Professor Ramjee was renowned for her work on finding HIV prevention methods that were conducive to the lifestyles, circumstances and perceived risk factors that South African women face, as well as attempts to find an effective HIV vaccine.

“In her, we have indeed lost a champion in the fight against the HIV epidemic, ironically at the hands of this global pandemic.

“In her honour, we should heed the call to flatten the curve by strengthening our responses to this global pandemic as well as continue the fight to achieve zero new HIV infections.”

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