Professor Sharon Lewin appointed President of the International AIDS Society

Professor Sharon Lewin gives her acceptance speech as IAS President at AIDS 2022.
Professor Sharon Lewin delivers her acceptance speech after being announced IAS President at AIDS 2022. Outgoing President Professor Adeeba Kamarulzaman and IAS Executive Officer Dr Birgit Poniatowski look on. Image: ©Marcus Rose/IAS

Professor Sharon Lewin, Director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, has been appointed President of the International AIDS Society (IAS), the peak international organisation for HIV and AIDS professionals.

Representing more than 15,000 members worldwide, including scientists, people living with HIV, activists, policymakers and others, the IAS mission is to convene, educate and advocate for a world in which HIV no longer presents a threat to public health and individual well-being.

Professor Lewin, one of the world’s foremost infectious diseases experts, has dedicated her career to HIV care and cure and is also internationally recognised for her work on HIV-hepatitis B virus (HBV) co-infection and SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Announced as President at the closing ceremony of the 24th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2022) in Montreal, Professor Lewin shared her vision and optimism with attendees.

“Our ambitious goals of a viable cure and vaccine for HIV remain distant on the horizon. Yet, they are closer than ever before. And with our recent experiences with COVID-19, accelerating vaccine and cure research feels not only feasible but inevitable,” Professor Lewin said.

“AIDS 2022 has made it clear once again: progress happens when we come together and unleash the power of our movement. That is why the IAS exists. That is why we need to double down on our efforts to unite the voices of activists, policy makers and scientists.”

“Together, harnessing the strength, passion and talent of this movement, we will end this epidemic once and for all.”

She also acknowledged the work of outgoing President, Professor Adeeba Kamarulzaman, for leading the IAS through a historic era.

“As a woman in science, I look forward to the day when (having) two consecutive female presidents isn’t remarkable – but today it is and I’m proud to be a part of this new era,” Professor Lewin said.

The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, which Professor Lewin has led since it was established in 2016, is a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital.