When the MPV (Monkeypox) outbreak spread throughout the United States in the Summer of 2022, Dr. Keletso Makofane was perfectly poised to produce a response platform and research hub within months. Makofane was instrumental in quickly accessing information, examining infection rates and patterns, and addressing access to healthcare and vaccines related to the MPV epidemic.
Makofane, a Global HIV Public Health Practitioner and Social Network Epidemiologist is an FXB Health & Human Rights Fellow at Harvard University and a public health researcher and activist who works in the global HIV response focusing on sexual minority men in east and southern Africa. He was able to take his research, methodologies, and wealth of knowledge about HIV and literally pivot to address the MPV explosion.
“I'm fascinated with how human relationships shape population health,” Makofane has said. “I came to this focus through different experiences: LGBT anti-violence organizing in Cape Town, survey research on health and human rights in Oakland, HIV policy advocacy in Geneva, and HIV programs for men who have sex with men in Johannesburg. At the heart of this work is the idea that people's health depends on their relationships with other people.” Not all heroes wear capes. — E.W.