Resilience Rewarded: One of AHF’s Finest Reclaims Prestigious Award

In Eblast by Brian Shepherd

In honor of her lifetime of work and achievement in the medical field, AHF’s Dr. Adele Schwartz Benzaken received her previously revoked National Order of Scientific Merit medal from Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at a national ceremony last month. Brazil’s previous administration withdrew Dr. Adele’s award in 2021 before she could accept it, prompting 21 scientists who were awarded the high honor to refuse their medals in protest.

“More than the award, this ceremony was about reunions – with our diverse country that was being destroyed by reactionary and fascist policies, with the SUS [Brazilian health system] which we have fought for since 1988, and with President Lula and all the utopias that he taught us to dream of for several years,” said AHF Senior Global Medical Director Dr. Adele during the ceremony. “To President Lula, the representatives of the Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science, the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, and to my peers who in solidarity refused their medals from the hands of the infamous unnamed, I give my eternal gratitude.”

Dr. Adele joined the AHF family in 2019 and has worked in STI and HIV prevention, control, and care since 1983. She has been instrumental in fighting HIV and other STIs in Brazil and globally, including extensive work with vulnerable populations and indigenous communities in the Amazon.

Her other former work includes: Regional Director for Latin America of the International Union Against Sexually Transmitted Infections (IUSTI); board member of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research (ISSTDR); member of the PAHO-Pan American Organization certification committee on the elimination of syphilis and HIV de Saúde and vice president of the “Steering committee of the 2025 target setting and 2020-2030 resource needs and impact estimation” of UNAIDS / Geneva.

Brazil created the National Order of Scientific Merit honor in 1993 to recognize distinguished achievements that have contributed to scientific and technological developments in the country.

“Gonorrhea Alert” Intensifies Globally
AHF Endorses Senate Committee Proposal to Detach R&D from Drug Pricing