Remembering Dr Suniti Solomon, a Pioneer in India’s HIV Response

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Dr Suniti Solomon, the Founding Director of YRG CARE and a board member of India HIV/AIDS Alliance passed away peacefully on July 28 2015, in Chennai.

Dr Solomon’s experience covered a wide range of areas related to HIV/AIDS, from the biomedical to the socio-economic. She documented the first evidence of HIV infection in India in 1986 and brought needed attention to the emerging epidemic. While serving at the Madras Medical College and Government General Hospital as a Professor of Microbiology, Dr Solomon set up the first voluntary testing and counselling centre.

A member of the National Technical Team on Women and AIDS, she served on numerous national and international committees on AIDS and was the Principal Investigator of several pioneering HIV research studies. Dr Solomon served as the president of the AIDS Society of India and published extensively on HIV epidemiology, prevention, care and support, biomedical research, research ethics and gender issues.

James Robertson, Executive Director of Alliance India, reflected on her passing, “Dr Solomon stepped up to the challenge of HIV/AIDS long before it was fashionable. Her leadership had a transformative effect on the response to the epidemic in India and around the world. The impact of her work was profound, and her voiced will be sorely missed at a time when India’s HIV response needs her wisdom and guidance.”

The Alliance India family mourns the loss of an extraordinary woman and celebrates her remarkable life as an example to us all to work selflessly towards ending the epidemic.

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