Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

World-renowned HIV/AIDS advocates to speak at annual Professor Michael Kelly Lecture

10 December 2015
Irish Aid and the Irish Forum for Global Health, in collaboration with RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), will host a lecture titled: "Keeping HIV on the Agenda: Women's Unequal Equality". This will be the 10th Annual Irish Aid Professor Michael Kelly Lecture on HIV and AIDS. The event will be held in the College, on St Stephen's Green, Dublin on Thursday 10th December at 5.30pm.
The lecture will open with a video introduction by Professor Father Michael Kelly, international HIV educator and advocate, and will also feature guest speakers Professor Sheila Dinotshe Tlou, Regional Director of the UNAIDS support team for Eastern & Southern Africa, and Sister Dr Miriam Duggan, Founder of Youth Alive in Uganda, and one of this year's recipients of Ireland's Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad.
This lecture has being running since 2006, and Irish Aid has honoured Professor Father Michael Kelly's lifetime achievements with this annual talk on HIV and AIDS, which is timed to coincide with World AIDS Day.
Professor Fr. Michael Kelly is an internationally renowned expert on HIV and AIDS. In 2012 he was only the second individual to receive an honorary doctorate from RCSI, to recognise the outstanding contributions he has made in the area of HIV and AIDS and education. Born in Tullamore in 1929, Fr. Kelly has lived and worked in Zambia for the past 50 years. He travels the world over to lobby for the rights of patients with HIV / AIDS and focuses his efforts on addressing AIDS through education.
Professor Ruairí Brugha, Head of Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine at RCSI said "Once again it is my pleasure to welcome Professor Fr. Kelly, who unfortunately can't be here in person, our two other guest speakers, who are longstanding contributors to the field of HIV prevention and education; and representatives of Irish Aid who have supported this event since its inception and who continue to play a global leadership role in keeping the issue of HIV and AIDS on the agenda. Our three speakers, in their work, have for decades advocated for those who are most vulnerable and at risk of HIV - adolescent girls and women in some of the poorest countries, especially in Africa. The aim of this event is to educate and inspire everyone who is committed to global health."
HIV and AIDS is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age worldwide, and almost 60 per cent of all new HIV infections among young persons are in adolescent girls and young women. This translates into almost 1,000 young women newly infected with HIV every day. Almost 37 million people are now living with HIV around the world, and less than half of them are getting the treatment they so badly need. Here in Ireland, by the end of November 2015, the number of new HIV diagnoses was almost 20% higher than in all of 2014.
The Professor Father Michael Kelly Lecture will be held in the Houston Lecture Theatre at RCSI, at 5.30pm. If you would like to attend please RSVP to

For more information on the annual lecture and on the Irish Forum for Global Health, visit
RCSI is ranked 46th in the world for ‘International Outlook' and #251 - 300 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2015-2016). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.