Salim Abdool Karim

No proof that HIV-infected baby was cured

A nine-month-old baby who was born in California with HIV may possibly have been cured as a result of antiretroviral treatment that doctors began just four hours after her birth. Medical researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine announced this at the Conference in Reroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston on Wednesday.

Local scientists step close to developing vaccine against HIV

South African scientists and their US collaborators have discovered how some potent new antibodies against HIV develop in a patient’s body, taking researchers a step closer to devising a vaccine or treatment.

Medicine falls back in funding queue for private money

THE head of the Medical Research Council, once South Africa’s most prestigious medical research institution, is battling to attract private money to supplement state funding as local companies focus their social responsibility budgets on creating jobs and improving education.

"Is there a tradition of philanthropy funding science in South Africa? No, very little," says Prof Salim Abdool Karim, appointed interim president of the Medical Research Council (MRC) by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi 18 months ago to turn the ailing institution around.

World AIDS Day 2013 - Necessity drives Innovation: KZN AIDS researchers ignite hope

Ahead of World AIDS Day 2013, leading HIV/AIDS researchers in Durban have urged society to focus on insights, innovation and integrity in the journey into an HIV-free future – and to put people at the centre of health services.

SA's spectacular reversal in fight against Aids

The change wrought by the mass distribution of HIV/Aids drugs is akin to a major societal shift, writes David Smith.

South Africa has witnessed an "unparalleled" five-year increase in life expectancy since 2005 thanks to the world's biggest programme of HIV/Aids drug treatment, researchers say.

The trend marks a spectacular reversal from the days when former president Thabo Mbeki was branded an "Aids denialist" whose dogma was blamed for 330 000 deaths. In a few short years, South Africa has gone from global disgrace to shining example.

Two women unlock possible key to HIV vaccine

Two South African women may have helped unlock the key to a vaccine to rid the world of one its deadliest epidemics, according to new research released by South African HIV experts.

In 2005, an HIV-negative woman from the city of Durban enrolled in a study of acute HIV infection conducted by the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA). Two years later, another HIV-negative woman in her early 20s, living in the rural township of Vulindlela, joined CAPRISA’s ground-breaking trial of the efficacy of an antiretroviral-based vaginal microbicide to prevent HIV infection.  

HIV vaccine ‘must come from SA’

WHEN an HIV vaccine is developed, it must come from South Africa and be available and affordable for all South Africans, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Monday.

A consortium of scientists on Monday announced that it was one small step closer to developing an HIV vaccine with the discovery of how select individuals are capable of making potent antibodies that can neutralise most HIV strains.

SA antibody breakthrough ‘brings HIV vaccine closer’

SOUTH African scientists have discovered how some people can make potent antibodies capable of neutralising strains of HIV, taking researchers a step closer to developing a vaccine.

A vaccine that prevents HIV infection has proven elusive for decades, partly because there are many different varieties of the rapidly evolving virus. One of the strategies scientists are exploring is how to produce a vaccine that prompts the body to make "broadly acting antibodies" that combat multiple strains of HIV.

Scientists have known for some time that about one in five people infected with HIV is capable of making these powerful antibodies after they have been infected for several years, but exactly how they arise has been a mystery.

International honour for HIV/Aids expert

World-renowned Durban scientist and researcher Professor Salim Abdool Karim, has been elected to the American Institute of Medicine as a foreign associate in recognition of his pioneering contributions to research into HIV prevention and treatment.

Election to the institute is considered to be one of the highest international honours in the fields of medical sciences, health care and public health.

Karim is the director of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in SA (Caprisa), Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and was this year appointed president of the SA Medical Research Council.

SA docs welcome US approval of ARV as a prevention tool

South African HIV Clinicians have welcomed an announcement that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has approved the use of an antiretroviral by sexually active HIV-negative men and women as a method of reducing the risk HIV infection in adults.

 

The debate around the use of ARVs as prevention surfaced several years ago with a number of studies showing it to be effective and safe. In what has been described a possibly a major turning point, the FDA announced this week that it had approved the use of tenofovir disproxil fumarate/emtricibatine (TDF/FTC), also known as Truvada, in HIV prevention.