The International AIDS Society, IAS, has announced its president-elect, Adeeba Kamarulzaman of Malaysia, as the new substantive president.
The announcement was made at the closing of the virtual 23rd AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020: Virtual) hosted by IAS.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that IAS announced nine newly elected and three re-elected members to its Governing Council.
Ms Kamarulzaman’s new appointment makes her the first Asian to lead the IAS.
Others announced alongside Kamarulzaman, are Sharon Lewin of Australia as President-Elect and Jennifer Kates of the U.S. as Treasurer.
Ms Kamarulzaman in his remarks said the new members joining the IAS Governing Council add a great diversity of skills and experiences.
“They will be pivotal in steering IAS into the future and dealing with a fast-changing scientific, social and political landscape.
“I am particularly happy to announce that for the first time, our Governing Council is majority female with 13 women and 12 men,’’ Ms Kamarulzaman said.
She said that the governing council determines strategy and policy direction for IAS to ensure that the organisation fulfils its mission of leading collective action on every front of the global HIV response.
Kevin Osborne, IAS Executive-Director, said the HIV epidemic continues to require collaborative leadership across regions and disciplines that the governing council represented.
“This new governing council is deeply committed to driving the HIV response on many fronts that will require our attention, not least the remaining challenge of widespread stigma and discrimination,’’ Mr Osborne said.
NAN reports that Kamarulzaman, a graduate of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, was trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases.
She is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Malaya and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Yale University, the U.S.
She established the Infectious Diseases Unit at the University of Malaya Medical Centre and, in 2008, the Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS, CERiA, at the same university.
As convener of the Malaysian Harm Reduction Working Group of the Malaysian AIDS Council, she successfully advocated for the implementation of harm reduction measures to tackle HIV amongst people who inject drugs in Malaysia.
Ms Kamarulzaman has been involved in several regional and international organisations, including TREAT Asia, the International Society of Infectious Diseases and was Co-Chair of the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Committee on HIV.