Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Announces Winner of International Leadership Award
February 28, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Robert Yule, Senior Media Relations Manager, (202) 448-8456
Grant to Focus on Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV in South Africa
February 28, 2011, Boston, Massachusetts – The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, a worldwide leader in the fight to eliminate pediatric HIV and AIDS, announced today that Dr. Landon Myer of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, is the Foundation’s 2011 International Leadership Award (ILA) recipient. The announcement of the award comes during the 2011 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), being held this year in Boston, Massachusetts.
This year’s ILA award is generously funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (www.SNF.org), an international philanthropic organization that makes grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and medicine, and social welfare.
The ILA is a three-year grant focused on international work in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV and care and treatment of HIV and AIDS. Recipients are researchers, clinicians, or implementers in resource-poor settings who have the potential to develop and manage programs that would assist in the elimination of pediatric AIDS in the countries where they live.
“Dr. Myer’s research will help drive innovative new strategies to deliver antiretroviral medicines to HIV-positive, pregnant women in his native South Africa,” said Jeffrey Safrit, PhD, Director of Clinical and Basic Research for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. “Ultimately, this will more effectively reduce the risk of transmission of HIV from mother to child, while promoting the health of both.”
The ILA grant will fund Dr. Myer’s project in the community of Gugulethu, outside Cape Town, South Africa, where in 2009, HIV prevalence was 28% among pregnant women attending antenatal services. Dr. Myer will seek to identify the major barriers to initiating highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for HIV-positive women in Gugulethu who are in need of treatment, and to develop, model, and test different strategies for overcoming these barriers.
“It is a tremendous honor to be selected for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation’s International Leadership Award,” said Dr. Myer. “The emphasis on training and capacity building with this award is also particularly exciting, as it affords the opportunity to help develop the next generation of leaders in South Africa for HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment.”
Dr. Myer is an epidemiologist based at the School of Public Health & Family Medicine and the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at the University of Cape Town. His work has focused on HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, with a particular emphasis on maternal and child health.
“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is engaged in supporting HIV/AIDS research and initiatives in the developing world, especially in Africa,” said Stelios Vasilakis, Program Officer at SNF. “The Foundation’s Directors believe the International Leadership Award helps ensure that the groundbreaking pediatric HIV/AIDS work done by these skilled researchers and public health professionals will continue to benefit resource-poor communities for years to come.”
Since the ILA program’s inception in 2002, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation has provided more than $5.76 million in grants to 14 award recipients from nine countries. To learn more about the importance of research in eliminating pediatric HIV and AIDS, read about the Foundation’s strategic focus on supporting and conducting groundbreaking new research: http://www.pedaids.org/What-We-re-Doing/Research
About the Foundation:
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is a global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV and AIDS, and has reached nearly 11 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. The Foundation works at more than 5,100 sites in 17 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute strategic and targeted global advocacy activities in order to bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide.