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Professor Michael Kelly Lecture Series on HIV and AIDS

The Professor Michael Kelly lecture on HIV and AIDS is held each year to coincide with World AIDS Day. It was initiated by Irish Aid in 2006 as a way of recognising and honouring the work of Fr Michael Kelly – a world renowned expert on addressing HIV and AIDS through the education sector. Sadly, Father Michael passed away in January 2021 at the age of 91. The event is now held as a memoriam in his honour.

Throughout his lifetime, Fr Michael worked tirelessly to educate and promote safe behaviour among youth and those most at risk in Zambia, throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and much further afield. In 2018, he received the Order of Distinguished Service Award from President Lungu of Zambia, in recognition of his contributions to the promotion of education, social justice and HIV and AIDS. In 2020, he was featured on an An Post Irish postage stamp in recognition of the outstanding contribution he made overseas.

The lectures provide a platform for current issues related to the global AIDS pandemic to be presented and debated and serve to keep participants up to date on emerging policy and programme approaches in responding to HIV and AIDS.

Each year the lecture focuses on a different theme – where possible in line with the theme for World AIDS Day.

Each year focuses on a different aspect of HIV and AIDS

Since 2006, the lecture has focused on the following:

  • HIV related stigma and discrimination (2006);
  • Children and AIDS (2007);
  • HIV, Nutrition and Food Security (2008);
  • Universal Access to HIV Prevention (2009);
  • Defeating AIDS and diseases of poverty through Partnership (2010);
  • The Global Health Workforce: Pathways to Health (2011);
  • Community Leadership in the response to HIV (2012);
  • Gender, sexuality and HIV (2013);
  • The negative role of stigma, prejudice and certain legal measures in the response to HIV and AIDS (2014);
  • Keeping HIV on the agenda: Women's unequal equality (2015);
  • Hands up for #HIVPrevention: Leaving no-one behind (2016);
  • Young People and HIV (2017);
  • Leaving no-one behind (2018)
  • • HIV and Women: Sexual reproductive Health and Rights (2019)
    • Solidarity in the ace of HIV at a time of global crisis (2020)

While he was alive, Father Michael delivered the keynote address during the lecture along with leading global advocates on HIV And AIDS from around the world. Since 2006, guest speakers have included Stephen Lewis, Professor Sheila Tlou, Dr Seth Berkley, Dr Zeda Rosenberg, Dr. Mphu Ramatlapeng, Marcus Horan, James O’ Connor, Ann Mason, Noerine Kaleeba, Professor Sheila Dinotshe, Daphine Abaho, Shaun Mellor, Robbie Lawlor, Dr Joannie Marlene Bewa and Dr. Lia Tadesse Gebremedhin.

Each year those who have had the opportunity to attend these lectures have been truly inspired by Fr Michael’s integrity, compassion and extraordinary insight into the complexity of HIV and AIDS and have left feeling motivated to continue their work in responding to the global AIDS pandemic.

You can get full details of all lectures in the series on the new Fr Michael Kelly website.

Bio of Professor Fr. Michael Kelly

Professor Father Michael Kelly, SJ,was born in Tullamore in 1929. He studied at University College Dublin and was awarded a B.A in Maths and Mathematical Physics in 1952, both with first class honours. He went on to receive a licentiate in philosophy in 1955. He moved to Zambia and has lived and worked there for over 50 years, becoming a Zambian citizen. He worked for many years as headmaster of Canislius College in Chiseki in Zambia. He completed his PhD studies in the area of child and educational psychology in 1974 and subsequently became a senior lecturer and Dean of the School of Education in the University of Zambia (UNZA), in1975. He served as pro-vice chancellor and deputy vice chancellor and became professor in 1989. He has received honorary degrees from University College Dublin, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the University of the West Indies. Father Kelly’s work on HIV and AIDS is noted internationally, having worked with UNESCO, UNICEF, and the World Bank, and made significant contributions to Ireland’s understanding of the impact of HIV on education, and education on HIV. In November 2012, he received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad in the field of peace, reconciliation and development. 

Fr Michael Kelly Lecture Series 540 x 300