Salim S. Abdool Karim, MD, PhD, DSc (honoris causa) is a South African clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist who is widely recognised for his research contributions in HIV prevention and treatment. He is Director of the Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. He is also Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Associate Member of The Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. His contributions to microbicides for HIV prevention spans two decades and culminated in the CAPRISA 004 tenofovir gel trial which provided proof-of-concept that antiretroviral drugs can prevent sexually transmitted HIV infection and herpes simplex virus type 2 in women. He is co-inventor on patents which have been used in several HIV vaccine candidates and his clinical research on TB-HIV treatment has shaped international guidelines on the clinical management of co-infected patients. He is Chair of the UNAIDS Scientific Expert Panel and a member of both the WHO HIV-TB Task Force and the WHO Expert Panel on Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV. He is an elected Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences, the African Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Science in South Africa, the Royal Society of South Africa and the American Academy of Microbiology. He is a Foreign Associate Member of the US National Academy of Medicine. He serves on the Boards of Lancet-Global Health, Lancet-HIV and the New England Journal of Medicine.
Editorial Board Member: New England Journal of Medicine
Editorial Board Member: AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
International Advisory Board Member: Lancet HIV
Fellow, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), 2008 - present
Fellow, Royal Society of South Africa, 2003 - present
Member, Academy of Science of South Africa, 2001- present
Member, International AIDS Society, 1996 - present
Member, International Epidemiological Association, 1989 - present
Foreign Associate Member of the US National Academy of Medicine, 2013-present
Honors & Awards
Areas of Expertise
Select Global Activities
MTN: Microbicide Trials Network, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe: The MTN is an international network of researchers collaborating on the development and testing of microbicides for the prevention of HIV infection. Dr Abdool Karim is a Member of the Executive Committee of the MTN and Protocol Chair of the HPTN 035 trial that assessed the safety and effectiveness of candidate microbicides PRO2000 and Buffergel.
CAPRISA: Center for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa, South Africa: CAPRISA is a multi-institutional program to undertake globally relevant and locally responsive research that contributes to understanding HIV pathogenesis and epidemiology as well as the links between tuberculosis and AIDS care, builds local research infrastructure through cores of expertise, and provides training through research fellowships tenable in South Africa and the USA.
Abdool Karim SS, Kashuba A, Werner L, Abdool Karim Q. Drug concentrations following topical and oral antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis: Implications for HIV prevention in women. Lancet 2011, 378: 279-281.
Moore PL, Gray ES, Wibmer CK, Bhiman JN, Nonyane M, Sheward DJ, Hermanus T, Bajimaya S, Tumba NL, Abrahams MR, Lambson BE, Ranchobe N, Ping L, Ngandu N, Abdool Karim Q, Abdool Karim SS, Swanstrom RI, Michael S Seaman MS, Williamson C, Morris L. Evolution of an HIV-dependent broadly neutralizing antibody epitope through immune escape. Nature Medicine 2012; 18(11):1688-92
Roberts L, Passmore J-A S, Mlisana K, Williamson C, Little F, Bebell LM, Walzl G, Abrahams M-R, Woodman Z, Abdool Karim Q, Abdool Karim SS. Genital Tract Inflammation During Early HIV-1 Infection Predicts Higher Plasma Viral Load Set Point in Women. Journal of Infectious Diseases 2012; 205(2): 194-203.
Abdool Karim SS. Stigma impedes AIDS prevention. Nature 2011, 474: 29-31.
Abdool Karim SS, Richardson BA, Ramjee G, Hoffman IF, Chirenje ZM, Taha T, Kapina M, Maslankowski L, Coletti A, Profy A, Moench TR, Piwowar-Manning E, Masse B, Hillier SL, Soto-Torres L on behalf of the HPTN 035 Study Team. Safety and Effectiveness of BufferGel and 0.5% PRO2000 Gel for the Prevention of HIV Infection in high-risk Women. AIDS 2011, 25(7):957-966.
Abdool Karim SS, Abdool Karim Q. Diverse approaches useful for microbicide trials Nature 449 24 2007
Abdool Karim Q*, Abdool Karim SS*, Frohlich JA, Grobler AC, Baxter C, Mansoor LE, Kharsany ABM, Sibeko S, Mlisana KP, Omar Z, Gengiah TN, Maarschalk S, Arulappan N, Mlotshwa M, Morris L, Taylor D, on behalf of the CAPRISA 004 Trial Group Effectiveness and Safety of Tenofovir Gel, an Antiretroviral Microbicide, for the Prevention of HIV Infection in Women. Science 329 1168-1174 2010
Abdool Karim SS, Abdool Karim Q AIDS research must link to local policy Nature 463 733-734 2010
Abdool Karim SS, Naidoo K, Grobler A, Padayatchi N, Baxter C, Gray A, Gengiah T, Nair G, Bamber S, Singh A, Khan M, Pienaar J, El-Sadr W, Friedland G, Abdool Karim Q Timing of Initiation of Antiretroviral Drugs during Tuberculosis Therapy New England Journal of Medicine 362 697-706 2010
Abdool Karim SS, Churchyard GJ, Abdool Karim Q, Lawn SD. HIV infection and tuberculosis in South Africa: an urgent need to escalate the public health response. Lancet 374 921-933 2009