Interview: From a pig farm in Zim to star HIV researcher- Prof LGB reflects on her remarkable journey

Inside Professor Linda-Gail Bekker’s office a bookshelf is stacked with titles on general medicine, HIV and tuberculosis. Against the bookshelf, a mannequin leans dressed in a white doctor’s coat, sparkling tiara and pink Venetian mask, with a stethoscope protruding from her pocket. Known to colleagues as LGB, Bekker is one of South Africa’s top HIV researchers. Biénne Huisman chatted to Bekker about her remarkable career, finding new ways to reach young people, her love of both art and science and the thinking behind the slogan “get ripped, get prepped”.

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In-depth: Major SAMRC study sheds light on causes of disease and death in SA

Unsafe sex, interpersonal violence, high body mass index, high systolic blood pressure, and alcohol consumption are the top risk factors for disease and death in South Africa, according to the Second Comparative Risk Assessment study conducted by the South African Medical Research Council’s Burden of Disease Research Unit. Nthusang Lefafa spoke to some of the researchers to unpack the findings.

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COVID-19: How to respond to vaccine hesitancy

Initially hamstrung by low and uncertain supplies of COVID-19 vaccines, government is arguably now in a better position to campaign actively to accelerate vaccine demand, albeit in the midst of an often-harmful viral “infodemic”. Chris Bateman asks what can be done to boost demand for the jab.

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