Professor Linda-Gail Bekker to present at World AIDS Day Symposium

Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, Director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine and the Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town and Chief Executive Officer of the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation will be presenting at this year’s World AIDS Day Symposium in Melbourne.

Professor Bekker is an NRF A-rated physician scientist and specialist in HIV and related infectious diseases. Her research interests include programmatic and action research around antiretroviral roll out and TB integration, prevention of HIV in women, youth and MSM. Bekker is involved in a number of COVID19 vaccine trials and co-leads the Sisonke Phase 3B study which has seen the vaccination of 500 000 health care workers in South Africa. She is a past president of the International AIDS Society (2016-2018).

Women continue to bear a huge burden of HIV-related stigma and assumptions about HIV risk, which may affect access to testing, treatment and care, and psychosocial wellbeing. Women also experience HIV differently from men, with unique problems such as gynaecological health issues, increased risk of cervical cancer, treatment side effects & drug interactions, and ageing related issues. In Australia rates of new HIV diagnosis are not declining in women. This years World AIDS Day focuses on the issues face women living with HIV and how we as a community respond to womens’ needs in a considered manner.

Professor Bekker will  be joined by keynote speaker Dr Todd Fernando, The Victorian Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities and representatives of Living Positive Victoria, Positive Women Victoria, Burnet Institute, Doherty Institute, Monash Heath and Bolton Clark.

Melbourne’s World AIDS Day Community Launch and Symposium will take place at the Burnet Institute on 1 December 2022. A full schedule of the day and registration details can be found at World AIDS Day 2022.


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