Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Bill Gates praises Indian-descent scientist couple for pioneering work in the fight against HIV and coronavirus

JOHANNESBURG: Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has praised South African professors of Indian descent Salim Abdool Karim and his wife Quarraisha for their contributions to the fight against HIV / AIDS and COVID-19.

The science couple have been refused numerous awards locally and internationally, including national awards in South Africa, for their pioneering work in preventing the spread of HIV among young women through the Center for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) at the university. from KwaZulu-Natal.

Gates said his charity now used the couple’s experience to monitor the spread of COVID-19.

Professor Salim Abdool Karim, who leads the South African government advisory team on COVID-19, has been a member of the Gates Foundation Scientific Advisory Board for 10 years. He is also chairman of the WHO Scientific Committee on HIV.

“Based on their experiences with HIV and TB (tuberculosis), they are helping to drive the COVID-19 response in South Africa and around the world,” said Gates.

The founder of Microsoft said the motto at Caprisa impressed him. The motto is: “Every day you come to work, you have to see how it gets better today than yesterday.”

The science couple has refused numerous awards both locally and internationally.  (Image: and

The science couple has refused numerous awards both locally and internationally. (Image: and

Salim said that one in five people in the world infected with HIV is South African and that statistics motivated him and his wife to take up the mantle against HIV.

“Very early on, we both realized that we could pioneer and find new ways to treat and prevent HIV. We have now been able to produce these broadly neutralizing antibodies.

“We will inject it into young women to test if it is safe and then we want to see if it prevents HIV. If it can, it will change the course of the HIV epidemic in Africa,” he said.

Quarraisha said she learned that epidemiology, a science, also has a component of social justice.

“Women carry about four times more infections than men. Our work as scientists is to find technologies that women can use to prevent HIV infection, especially those women who are unable to negotiate traditional safer sex practices,” said she.

“We’ve managed to reduce transmission, but there are still nearly a million women dying of AIDS. That shouldn’t happen,” said Salim, who was forced to take to social media in May this year to say that dismiss it as fake news. that he had received a grant of Rand 944 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“As a consultant to the Gates Foundation, I have no grant from Gates. Please convey the truth to help stop this fake news,” the professor said.

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