Dr. Linda-Gail Bekker
Linda-Gail Bekker, MBChB, DTMH, DCH, FCP(SA), PhD is the Deputy Director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, UCT and Chief Operating Officer of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation. Linda-Gail is a physician scientist and has a keen interest in HIV, Tuberculosis and related diseases. Her research interests include programmatic and action research around HIV treatment roll out and TB integration, prevention of HIV in a women, youth and men who have sex with men. She has contributed to a number of publications emanating from the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre on topics relevant to the South African HIV and TB epidemics. In her role in the Foundation, she is passionate about community development. She is also immediate past President of the International AIDS Society.
Dr. Nadia Ahmed
Nadia Ahmed is a consultant HIV and sexual health physician, having completed her specialist training at the Mortimer Market Centre in London, England, in 2015. She has also trained as a forensic physician and practiced as a sexual offences examiner for the sexual assault referral centre, The Havens. Nadia has extensive undergraduate and postgraduate teaching experience and was postgraduate associate tutor for the Royal College of Physicians in London. She has completed clinical, service and educational attachments in the field of HIV in Cape Town and Durban, South Africa, as well as in Iraq and Iran. She has moved from London to Cape Town to join the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Centre as the Adolescent Clinical Lead to manage and grow the Adolescent Centre of Excellence, support clinical service development and conduct adolescent research. The aim of the centre is to develop best practices and evidence base around adolescent treatment and prevention of HIV, TB and STIs as well as the integration of these services within a robust adolescent friendly sexual and reproductive service platform.
Elzette Rousseau-Jemwa, M.A. Research Psychology, is a Socio-behavioural Scientist at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine. She is a research psychologist with extensive experience in programme design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation. Her research interests include programmatic and action research around community-based sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and PrEP delivery to key populations. She heads up the POWER (USAID funded) demonstration project delivering PrEP to adolescent girls and young women from a community-based mobile clinic. And have just started a new NIH R34 grant ‘Standing Tall’ which is a randomized controlled trial of a community-based intervention to improve health outcomes for newly diagnosed HIV-positive adolescents and young adults from a mobile clinic in South Africa. She is currently undertaking her PhD studies focusing on adolescent SRH decision-making and gender-responsive approaches to HIV prevention.
Dr. Millicent Atujuna
Millicent Atujuna, PhD is a Socio-behavioural Scientist and social behavioural division lead at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF). She is a Sociologist/Population Scientist with a focus on issues relating to social and behavioural aspects of health. Millicent has research experience, particularly in relation to bio-behavioural intervention development and testing, and the testing of interventions that will be implemented in combination prevention packages. For example, she currently serves as the South African PI of a social behavioural study on the acceptability bio-medical HIV prevention technologies currently nearing its final phase as well as the End-user research to optimize adherence for long-acting HIV prevention approaches. She is also a protocol team member of the HVTN 702 study, a Phase 3 RCT funded by NIAID to assess safety and efficacy of a HIV vaccine (ALVAC/gp120) in preparation for licensure. Her previous research has focused adolescent perceived risk behaviour and HIV prevention; and barriers to ART uptake, ART scale up and its impact on human resources in public health facilities as well as the movement of skilled health care workers from South Africa to developed countries. She is currently working a study with an aim of designing differentiated models of care that will improve both ART initiation and uptake.
Philip Smith (MSocSc, PhD candidate, UCT) is a Socio-behavioural Scientist who leads the mobile clinic services division. Using behavioural economics, the goal of his research is to improve health-seeking behaviour through differentiated healthcare services for South Africans who live in under-resourced, high HIV disease burden communities in South Africa.
Laura Myers is a Socio-behavioural Scientist at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation. She oversees behavioural research on a number of adolescent studies about PrEP delivery, PrEP adherence, combination prevention and the provision of youth friendly services. Prior to joining DTHF, she was a Senior Researcher with the Centre for AIDS Development, Research and Evaluation from 2008-2015, where she coordinated the qualitative component of a national sero-prevalence study of South African Higher Education Institutions and led the development, testing and evaluation of several successful national health communications programmes, including Intersexions, Brothers for Life, & Zazi. She has a Master’s degree in International Social Work from Columbia University (2004) and was a Columbia University Third Millennium Foundation Human Rights Fellow (2005-2006).