Deputy Director, Desmond Tutu HIV Centre; Immediate Past President, International AIDS Society
Linda-Gail Bekker is deputy director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and chief operating officer of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation. She was president of the International AIDS Society from 2016 to 2018.
Bekker is a physician-scientist and infectious disease specialist focusing on programmatic and action research around antiretroviral rollout, TB integration, and HIV prevention in key populations. She is principal investigator of the UCT Clinical Trials Unit funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and is actively involved in the work of its associated clinical research sites and networks. She has chaired protocols for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and HIV Prevention Trials Network and has been investigator of record in a number of network-related protocols. She also has served on numerous international and federal scientific and working committees. Bekker leads the Desmond Tutu Centre of Adolescent Health and Wellbeing at UCT, which aims to develop evidence-based best practices around adolescent treatment and prevention of HIV, TB, and STIs, including the integration of these services within a robust, adolescent-friendly sexual and reproductive service platform.
She holds medical degrees from the University of Cape Town and a Ph.D. from the Rockefeller University.