Professor Govender is a behavioural scientist specialising in research on HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health in young populations. He is currently research director at the Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research Division (HEARD) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has undertaken research on a number of projects in the field of youth and HIV and AIDS on behalf of UN agencies (UNAIDS, UNICEF); regional governments and international funders (Swedish SIDA, RNE, DfID, GFATM, USAID, CDC, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) where he has served as principal or co-investigator. He has led international conferences on social and behavioural issues related to HIV and currently is co-investigator in the National Research Foundation, Centre of Excellence in Human Development. He has co-published over 80 papers and was previously associate editor of the African Journal of AIDS Research. He currently serves on the editorial board of the journal BMC Public Health and serves on international and regional committees.