Feature story

Young researcher from Kenya recognized at 5th IAS Conference

21 July 2009


The International AIDS Society (IAS) and its partners have announced this year’s winner of the Young Investigator Prize: Women, Girls and HIV.

This year’s recipient is Dr Linnet N. Masese, Kenya, for her abstract, A prospective cohort study of the effect of antiretroviral therapy on sexual risk behaviour in a high-risk cohort of Kenyan women. It was selected by a review committee from eligible abstracts submitted to and accepted for presentation at IAS 2009.

The award will be presented to Dr Masese during the 22 July Plenary of IAS 2009 by the President of the International AIDS Society, Dr Julio Montaner, UNAIDS Chief Scientific Adviser Dr Catherine Hankins.

The prize was launched in 2006 and is awarded to a female investigator from a low-income or middle-income country whose abstract demonstrates excellence in research and/or practice that addresses women, girls and gender issues related to HIV.

Dr Linnet N. Masese completed her medical degree at the University of Nairobi, Kenya in 2003. She received a Master’s degree in Public Health (Epidemiology & International Health) from the University of Washington in Seattle, USA in 2008.

Dr. Masese currently serves as the Clinic Section Head at the University of Nairobi/University of Washington Mombasa Field Site. She is supported through the Fogarty International Center through an Advanced In-Country Scholar appointment awarded by the UW’s International AIDS Research and Training program. In this capacity, she is leading two studies entitled “Extending the durability of first-line therapy: a pilot study of directly administered antiretroviral therapy” and “Vaginal Health: An Innovative Behavioral Approach to Decrease HIV/STI Transmission”. In September 2009, Dr. Masese will begin her studies as a pre-doctoral trainee in the UW’s PhD program in Epidemiology.

The US$2,000 prize is jointly funded by the IAS, the IAS Industry Liaison Forum, and UNAIDS, and supported by the International Center for Research on Women and the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS.

The IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention is the world’s largest open scientific conference on HIV. IAS 2009 is taking place in Cape Town, South Africa until 22 July 2009.