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Lars Olof Kallings

Remembering Lars Olof Kallings

IAS – the International AIDS Society – mourns the death of our Founding President, Lars Olof Kallings. A pioneer of the global response to HIV, Professor Kallings passed away on 17 June 2024.   

“We have lost a giant in the HIV response,” IAS President Sharon Lewin said. “Lars Kallings was an outstanding scientist who laid the groundwork for a united and inclusive HIV response based on human rights. We will miss his wisdom, but his legacy will continue to guide us.” 

It was at the International AIDS Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1988 that Professor Kallings and his colleagues created the IAS to sustain the conferences and bring together scientists and policy makers to share latest research findings. He became its first President and was also the IAS Secretary-General from 1994 to 2002.   

Professor Kallings, born in Sweden in 1930, graduated from the Karolinska Institute as a medical doctor in 1957 and became Professor in Medical Microbiology in 1963.  

He became an adviser to the World Health Organization in 1984. He chaired the Global Commission on AIDS in 1988-1990 and was Senior Adviser to the Global Programme on AIDS on Scientific and Policy Affairs in 1990-1993. He was appointed United Nations Special Envoy for AIDS in eastern Europe and central Asia in 2003.  

Among Professor Kallings’ many other positions, he was Director-General of the Swedish National Institute for Infectious Disease Control in 1982-1988 and Nordic representative and Vice Chairman of the WHO Executive Board in 1988-1990. 

The IAS’s thoughts are with Professor Kallings’ loved ones, as well as all those whose lives he touched.  

The IAS promotes the use of non-stigmatizing, people-first language. The translations are all automated in the interest of making our content as widely accessible as possible. Regretfully, they may not always adhere to the people-first language of the original version.