n Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine - Remembering the beginning : personality profile

Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1608-9693
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6751



A son of Johannesburg, born 16 June 1929, Professor Ruben Sher is most widely known as Head of the AIDS Research Unit at the South African Institute for Medical Research (SAIMR), Johannesburg. A pioneer in AIDS research, he was a founder member of many South African AIDS bodies, including the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society. Before becoming the local media's medical face of AIDS, he was a pill-counter, served as a pilot in the infant Israel, completed a PhD, registered as a specialist pathologist (microbiology), and qualified as a sangoma. Currently Director of HIVCARE International, he has held seven academic appointments and served as principal investigator on six major HIV studies. Ruben is recipient of many accolades including the Wits Alumni Honour Award in 1987 for rendering exceptional service to the community, both the Paul Harris Fellowship and the Vocational Service Award from Rotary in the early 1990s, and the Salus Award (Silver) from the Department of Health in 1993. He is married, with 4 children and 5.5 grandchildren spread throughout the Diaspora, including New York and Toronto.

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