July 23, 2018

IAS honours outstanding research, young investigators and efforts to address HIV stigma

Written by International AIDS Society

Sunday, 22 July 2018 (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) – The International AIDS Society (IAS) has presented its prestigious prizes and awards for innovation in HIV research, leadership in protecting human rights and the most promising work by an emerging generation of early-career scientists at the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018).

“The recognition of excellence by one’s peers is among the highest accolades in the profession of science,” AIDS 2018 International Scientific Chair and IAS President Linda-Gail Bekker said. “These awards honour innovation, commitment and results that rise far above the norm in our collective effort to reduce the impact of HIV and one day end the epidemic entirely.”

Recipients of prizes and awards at AIDS 2018 include:

Achievement awards

Prudence Mabele Prize

Presented by Yvette Raphael, Positive Women’s Network

The US$25,000 Prudence Mabele Prize is a new endowment and the largest monetary prize ever given at an International AIDS Conference. The prize, endowed by the Ford Foundation and the Open Society Foundations in partnership with the Positive Women’s Network of South Africa, is named in honour of the life and work of Prudence Mabele, a trailblazing activist for the rights of women and people living with HIV. She was the first black woman to publicly reveal her HIV-positive status in South Africa, in 1992. The Prudence Mabele Prize promotes global attention to the remarkable work of gender justice and health equity activists. The recipient of the first Prudence Mabele Prize is:

  • Duduzile Dlamini (South Africa), a long-time advocate for the rights and health of sex workers and founder of Mothers for the Future (M4F), a network striving to reverse the factors that make sex workers and their families particularly vulnerable to stigma, discrimination and HIV

Elizabeth Taylor Human Rights Award

Presented by Quinn Tivey, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation

The biennial Elizabeth Taylor Human Rights Award recognizes the efforts of individuals who have achieved major breakthroughs or shown exceptional courage in their efforts to advocate for human rights in the field of HIV. The award is supported by the IAS and the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) to pay a lasting tribute to Dame Elizabeth Taylor, a visible, vocal and relentless champion of human rights in the HIV field. The Elizabeth Taylor Human Fights Award is presented to:

  • Allan Achesa Maleche (Kenya), Executive Director of the Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS (KELIN). Maleche and his colleagues have litigated landmark cases protecting the rights of people affected by HIV and tuberculosis

IAS Me and My Healthcare Provider Awards

Presented by Edwin Cameron, Constitutional Court of South Africa and Conchita Wurst

Me and My Healthcare Provider is a community-driven anti-stigma campaign that recognizes best practices, one clinic at a time. Me and My Healthcare Provider celebrates exceptional providers who are #DoingTheRightThing and making a tangible difference in the lives of the people they serve, including men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who inject drugs and sex workers. The campaign, part of the IAS Nobody Left Behind initiative, is driven by members of key populations who nominate their healthcare providers for the award. The champions of the Me and My Healthcare Provider Awards at AIDS 2018 are:

  • Gulzhakhan Akhmetova, infectious disease doctor/clinical specialist, for her work to address the psychological, social and medical needs of people who inject drugs in Kazakhstan
  • Nesrine Afif Rizk, infectious disease physician, for ensuring safe access to preventive services, medical care and treatment, health education and psychosocial support to the LGBT community in Lebanon
  • Loveness Gunda, nurse/midwife, for providing comprehensive, stigma-free information and services on HIV and related health issues to sex workers and their clients in Machinga District, Malawi
  • Geoffrey Phillip Wandawa, social worker and HIV counsellor, who provides free, friendly health services to key populations. including LGBTI people, sex workers, people who inject drugs and uniformed personnel in Mbale District, Uganda

Research awards

Lange/van Tongeren Prizes (IAS-ANRS) for Young Investigators

Presented by François Dabis, ANRS, and Linda-Gail Bekker, AIDS 2018 International Scientific Chair and IAS President

The US$2,000 Lange/van Tongeren Prizes for Young Investigators, named in memory of Joep Lange and Jacqueline van Tongeren, are jointly funded by the IAS and the Agence Nationale de Recherche sur le sida et les hépatites virales (ANRS). The prizes support young researchers who demonstrate innovation, originality, rationale and quality in the field of HIV research. One prize is awarded to the top-scoring abstracts in each of the conference tracks. The Lange/van Tongeren Prizes for Young Investigators at AIDS 2018 are awarded to:

Track A – Basic science

  • Shaheed Abdulhaqq (United States), “RhCMV-induced, SIV-specific MHC-E-restricted T cells recognize SIV through the T cell receptor”

Track B – Clinical science

  • Jonathan Chang (United States), “Persistent immune activation and depression in rural Ugandans initiating antiretroviral therapy”

Track C – Prevention science

  • Michael Traeger (Australia), “Changes, patterns and predictors of sexually transmitted infections in gay and bisexual men using PrEP; interim analysis from the PrEPX demonstration study”

Track D – Implementation science

  • Kalonde Malama (France), “Prevalence and predictors of violence against female sex workers in Zambia”


Track E – Implementation research, economics, systems and synergies with other health and development sectors

  • Francis Matthew Simmonds (Zimbabwe), “Task shifting for point-of-care early infant diagnosis testing: comparison of error rates between nurses and specialized laboratory trained personnel”

Women, Girls and HIV Investigator’s Prize

Presented by Princess Mabel van Oranje and Gunilla Carlsson, UNAIDS

The US$2,000 prize is funded by the IAS and UNAIDS, with the support of the International Community of Women with HIV/AIDS (ICW) and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). The prize supports research on gender-related issues, including community-based interventions and investigations that will provide critical evidence and information on which to base responses to the rising HIV incidence among women and girls, particularly in resource-limited settings. The Women, Girls and HIV Investigator’s Prize at AIDS 2018 is awarded to:

  • Zachary Kwena (Kenya), “Barriers to linkage and retention in HIV care among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in communities around Lake Victoria in Western Kenya”

Prize for Excellence in Research Related to the Needs of Children Affected by AIDS

Presented by Linda-Gail Bekker, AIDS 2018 International Scientific Chair and IAS President and Lorraine Sherr, University College London

The US$2,000 prize is jointly offered by the IAS and the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS (CCABA) to an investigator whose abstract demonstrates excellence in research that is likely to lead to improved services for children affected by HIV and AIDS. The prize seeks to advance the scientific understanding of paediatric HIV and the psychosocial impact of the epidemic on children in order to enhance practices of prevention, treatment and care. The Prize for Excellence in Research Related to the Needs of Children Affected by AIDS at AIDS 2018 is awarded to:

  • Ramadhani Abdul (Tanzania), “Child labour in Tanzanian small-scale gold mines: high HIV and violence risk”
  • Claire Davies (South Africa), “Cohort study of HIV+ children in Southern Africa returning to care after being lost to follow up: effect of interrupting care on mortality”

IAS/Abivax Research-for-Cure Academy Fellowship Prize

Presented by Steven Deeks, University of California San Francisco and Jean-Marc Steens, Abivax

The IAS Research-for-Cure Academy provides training on state-of-the-art HIV cure research to talented early- to mid-career investigators and clinical scientists working in resource-constrained settings. This US$2,000 annual prize is presented to a member of the academy class whose work shows particular promise. The first annual Research-for-Cure Academy Fellowship Prize is awarded to:

  • Paradise Madlala (South Africa), for his active engagement and valuable input to the collaborative research projects at the Research-for-Cure Academy

IAS TB/HIV Research Prizes

Presented by Anton Pozniak, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and IAS President Elect and Eric Goosby, UN Special Envoy on Tuberculosis

The five US$2,000 IAS TB/HIV Research Prizes are awarded by the IAS HIV Co-Infections and Co-Morbidities initiative. The prizes incentivize the investigation of pertinent research questions that affect TB/HIV co-infection and operational effectiveness of implementing core TB/HIV collaborative services, including TB/HIV service integration research. The prizes are presented to the five top-scoring abstracts in any of these areas. The IAS TB/HIV Research Prizes at AIDS 2018 are awarded to:

  • Fiona Cresswell (Uganda), “Xpert MTB/Rif Ultra for earlier diagnosis of TB meningitis in HIV-positive adults”
  • Anura David (South Africa), “Evaluation of a prototype cobas®MTB assay for use on the cobas® 6800/8800 Systems for the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a high burden HIV patient population”
  • Joseph Cavanaugh (United States), “Tuberculosis preventive therapy in PEPFAR countries”
  • Sabina Mugusi (Tanzania), “Efavirenz plasma exposure and immunologic outcome during anti-tuberculosis co-therapy: role of ethnicity and pharmacogenetic variations”
  • Siân Curtis (United States), “How does integrating HIV and TB services affect health outcomes for HIV-TB coinfected patients in Ukraine? Results from an impact evaluation”

IAS Injecting Drug Use Research Prizes

Presented by Marina Klein, McGill University and Ruth Dreifuss, Global Commission on Drug Policy.

The three inaugural US$2,000 IAS Injecting Drug Use Research Prizes are awarded by the IAS HIV Co-Infections and Co-Morbidities initiative. The prizes incentivize researchers to address important questions around the management of HCV infection and/or HIV/HCV co-infection in people who inject drugs, in particular through interdisciplinary research on drug dependence, harm reduction and/or drug policy. The IAS Injecting Drug Use Research Prizes at AIDS 2018 are awarded to:

  • Brooke West (United States), “Causes and predictors of mortality among people who inject drugs in Tijuana: 2011-2017”
  • Stella Iwuagwu (Nigeria), “Prevalence and correlates of knowledge of Hepatitis B and C virus among people who inject drugs (PWIDs) in Lagos, Nigeria”
  • Eberhard Schatz (Netherlands), “Study on drug consumption rooms on current practice and future capacity to address communicable diseases like HCV”

Dominique Dormont Award

Presented by Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Institut Pasteur

The US$5,000 IAS and ANRS Dominique Dormont award is funded by the Dominique Dormont Association to support young researchers working on chronic conditions, with a particular focus on the interface between HIV and other chronic diseases. The prize highlights researchers who demonstrate originality, rationale, quality and a multidisciplinary and integrative approach in the field of HIV and AIDS research. The IAS-ANRS Dominique Prize at AIDS 2018 is awarded to:

  • Shalena Naidoo (South Africa), “Persistence of myeloid cell-associated inflammation in HIV-infected children after 8 years on early initiated therapy – the key role players in HIV persistence?”

IAS CIPHER Research Grants
Presented by Linda-Gail Bekker, AIDS 2018 International Scientific Chair and IAS President

CIPHER is the IAS Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research. The CIPHER Grant provides a unique opportunity for early-stage investigators to address targeted research gaps in paediatric and adolescent HIV in resource-limited settings, for evidence-informed policy. The grants are for up to US$150,000 each for up to two years, and 80% of grants awarded go to applicants from low- and middle-income countries. The grants are made possible through support from CIPHER founding sponsor ViiV Healthcare and Janssen. The 2018 CIPHER Research Grants are presented to:

  • Alain Amstutz, whose project will test innovative, targeted interventions along the HIV care cascade for adolescents and young adults in Lesotho, and assess their potential to help reach 90-90-90 UNAIDS targets
  • Millicent Atujuna, who will investigate the link between poverty and ART adherence, and identify strategies to improve adherence and retention in care among youth in South Africa
  • Sirinya Teeraananchai, whose project will evaluate approaches to improve the treatment cascade in youth in Thailand, with the dual objective of improving individual health status and limiting HIV transmission among Thai youth
  • Elona Toska, who will evaluate different healthcare provision models to improve HIV-related outcomes among adolescent mothers living with HIV and their children in South Africa

Robert Carr Research Award

Presented by George Ayala, (M-Pact), Chris Beyrer (CPHHR), Jonathan Cohen (OSF),
Ivan Cruikshank (CVC), Kevin Osborne (IAS) and Marama Pala (ICASO)

The Robert Carr Research Award is a continuation of Robert Carr’s vision of collaboration between community, academic researchers and advocates to advance human rights-based policies and practices. The award recognizes a research project conducted by a community-academia partnership that has led to evidence-based programmes and/or influenced policies in the field of HIV to guide a human rights-based response. The award is a joint initiative of the IAS, Open Society Foundations (OSF), the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), M-Pact and the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (CPHHR). The recipients of the award are:

  • Cesar Galindo-Arandi (Guatemala) and Claire Barrington (United States) for the project, “Expanding the options: a case study of collective action to create a community-based pre-exposure prophylaxis clinic for MSM in Guatemala City”

“In a conference week filled with outstanding research on HIV, its associated conditions and the individuals who are most affected by this epidemic, we take particular pride in pausing to recognize this outstanding group of researchers, service providers and advocates,” IAS President Linda-Gail Bekker said. “Their commitment and achievements inspire us and bring us closer to a world without AIDS.”