Professor Bekker is Deputy Director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), UCT and Chief Operating Officer of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation. She is a physician-scientist with a keen interest in HIV, tuberculosis and related diseases.
Her doctoral work focused on the host response to tuberculosis, both with and in the absence of HIV co-infection. Subsequently, her research interests have expanded to include programmatic and action research around antiretroviral rollout and TB integration, prevention of HIV in women, youth and men who have sex with men.
She has contributed to a number of publications emanating from the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre on topics relevant to the South African HIV and TB epidemics. In her role as Chief Operating Officer at the DTHF, she is passionate about community development and engagement and actively explores new and innovative ways to tackle the challenge that is HIV.
She is principal investigator for the NIH funded UCT CTU which comprises four clinical research sites: Groote Schuur Clinical Research Site (CRS) (focused on HIV treatment and prevention); The Lung Institute (focused on tuberculosis), Emavundleni (focused on HIV prevention) and SATVI (focused on tuberculosis).
Professor Bekker has served as an advisor to the United States Presidents Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and is President-Elect of the International AIDS Society.