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Professor WD Francois Venter

Professor WD Francois Venter, MD, FCP, PhD is the Head of Wits Ezintsha at the

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where he received most of his training.


His work involves health systems research that directly translates into national

programmes,most recently involving the antiretrovirals, dolutegravir, tenofovir alafenamide,

cabotegravir, and doravirine. He leads multiple antiretroviral treatment optimisation studies and

is currently working on new access programmes through private pharmacies within South Africa,

as well as patient linkage-to-care interventions and self-testing projects.


He has led large PEPFAR-funded HIV programmes in South Africa, focusing on men, women, children, young people, truckers, sex workers, and LGBTI communities. For over 20 years he has been an advisor to bodies such as the South African government, UNAIDS, and WHO, contributing to international, regional, and national HIV guidelines. He recently served as a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee for COVID-19, and the Department of Science and Technology’s Research and Innovation Committee, advising on COVID-19 research and innovation needs. 


He has an active interest in medical ethics and has been involved in several HIV-related human rights cases within the southern African region. He supervises a large number of Masters and PhD projects.


Recent work has included publications in Lancet HIV, New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, AIDS, and PLOS Medicine.

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