April 1, 2020
It is with an incredibly heavy heart that I write to share news that Gita Ramjee passed away on Tuesday, March 30 of COVID-19 related complications.
For those who didn’t know her, Gita was a legend – for many years, she led the HIV prevention research program at the South African Medical Research Council, and participated in pretty much every microbicide trial imaginable as well as many other prevention studies. Most recently, she was the chief science officer at the Aurum Institute.
She also co-chaired the Microbicide Conferences in 2006, 2008 and 2010. And in 2012, Gita and Lut van Damme were honored together with the conference’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
She was a great friend to AVAC over the years – and she was an essential partner in helping to navigate the field through more disappointing results than any of us wanted. But those results never deterred her determination to keep pushing for the next trial.
She said it the best herself: “I strongly believe that my calling in life is to find methods that empower women to take control of their HIV prevention and reproductive health rights through informed choices.” She will be sorely missed by all of us who had the privilege to work with her.
May we all build on her legacy and make her calling, her dream a reality.