Healthcare & Sciences

Professor Dato' Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman

A renowned and sought-after HIV/AIDS expert, head of the Malaysian AIDS Foundation Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman is also a compassionate healthcare advocate for marginalised communities


Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman is an acclaimed infectious disease expert who has dedicated her career to HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment, research and advocacy, both in Southeast Asia and internationally. She is the former dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Professor of Infectious Diseases at Universiti Malaya, and is also an adjunct associate professor at Yale University, USA.

Trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases, Dr Adeeba established the Infectious Diseases Unit at University of Malaya Medical Centre and later the Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS, which is one of the few dedicated HIV research centres in the region. In her instrumental role on the Malaysian AIDS Council, the steadfast and compassionate advocate for marginalised communities championed harm-reduction measures to combat HIV transmission among injecting drug users. Dr Adeeba has also been an adviser to numerous World Health Organisation (WHO) committees on HIV/AIDS, is a member of the UNAIDS Scientific Expert Panel on HIV and last year was the first Asian to serve as president of the International AIDS Society (IAS).

Apart from her exemplary work on HIV/AIDS, she was also part of the acclaimed investigating team of the highly infectious and rapidly fatal Nipah virus that brought the late-1990s outbreak in Malaysia under control. In 2021, Dr Adeeba was appointed as a member of the WHO’s Science Council, a high-level scientific advisory group that provides leadership and advice on scientific and technological advances that directly impact global health.

"I’ve always been the type not to sweat the small stuff. I tend not to let the chatter and noise over trivial issues get to me."

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Like so many during the pandemic, Dr Adeeba has taken up a new hobby, gardening. She says it could be the doctor in her—the desire to make people feel better—that naturally compelled her to look after plants, and get excited at a new bloom or leaf. 

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