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Linda Gail Bekker - Dr. Linda-Gail Bekker

Dr. Linda-Gail Bekker

Deputy Director, Desmond Tutu HIV Centre

Bio Current as of November 13, 2020

Desmond Tutu HIV Centre – Deputy Director, Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation – Chief Operating Officer; Member, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT; President, International AIDS Society (IAS)

The Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, a peer-reviewed research grouping based in the IDM at the Health Science, UCT, is committed to the pursuit of excellence in research, treatment, training, and prevention of HIV and related infections in Southern Africa. The research, clinical and community-based staff of the Centre share a common agreed purpose to lessen the impact of the HIV epidemic on individuals, families, and communities, through innovation and their passion for humanity. The aim of the Centre, through both basic and operational research, seeks to impact health policy through accredited peer-reviewed publication, guidance to local and national government and community education and feedback.

Linda-Gail Bekker is a physician-scientist with a keen interest in HIV, tuberculosis and related diseases. Her doctoral work focused on the host response to tuberculosis both with and in the absence of HIV co-infection. Subsequently, her research interests have expanded to include programmatic and Health Service research around antiretroviral roll-out and TB integration, prevention of HIV in women, youth and men who have sex with men. She is passionate about community development and engagement; her most recent community projects have included community-based HIV treatment, peer-led community education, mobile health services (Tutu testers) to the neediest populations, a comprehensive youth centre providing recreation, education and SRH services to youth from periurban settings and dedicated adolescent HIV care services. Prof Bekker has served as advisor to the US President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Program. Her interest in prevention sciences, the testing of biomedical technologies including HIV vaccines, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and microbicides has given her international renown in these fields. More recently, the Centre, under her leadership has developed expertise in a number of key populations including pregnant women, adolescents, men who have sex with men and other more difficult to reach and engage populations.