Ayesha BM Kharsany, (Senior Scientist – CAPRISA / Honorary Associate Professor – University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Dr Kharsany has an MS and PhD from UKZN and a MS in Epidemiology from Columbia University (USA). Her main research interests focusses on the evolving HIV epidemic in South Africa and factors influencing HIV acquisition especially in young women. She is the principle investigator of the HIV Incidence Provincial Surveillance System (HIPSS) which is being undertaken in the uMgungundlovu District, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The study is measuring HIV prevalence and monitoring changes in HIV incidence in association with the scale-up of prevention efforts in a “real world”, non-trial setting. She is also responsible for expanded HIV surveillance across adolescent and community populations. She has been awarded the 5 year MRC-NIH Collaborative Research Grant (RO1) - 1R01HD083343-01 (ABM Kharsany) to understand why young women are at high risk for HIV, transmission dynamics and to identify the source of their HIV infection using HIV-1 sequence (phylogenetic) analysis. She has also worked on several clinical trials, most importantly the CAPRISA 004 tenofovir gel trial which tested the effectiveness of tenofovir gel for the prevention of HIV and the CAPRISA 007 trial which tested the effectiveness of conditional cash transfers for the prevention of HIV acquisition among young adolescents.