On July 4, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) hosted an evening dedicated to the 70th birth anniversary of Professor Tengiz Tsertsvadze, founder of the HIV/AIDS Center in Georgia and one of the initiators of the Hepatitis C Elimination Program in Georgia. Rector of TSU, George Sharvashidze, President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili, Parliamentary Chairman Archil Talakvadze, government officials, students, professors and invited guests attended the event. The evening was led by TSU Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dimitri Kordzaia.
Rector George Sharvashidze awarded the Ivane Javakhishvili Medal to Tengiz Tsertsvadze for his fruitful scientific and pedagogical activities at TSU. “Tengiz Tsertsvadze is one of those persons, who created an epoch, history of the country. Foundation of the HIV/AIDS Center as well as introduction of the successful Hepatitis C Elimination Program in Georgia is associated with his name. In addition, he is a very good researcher, teacher, professor, who brought up a whole generation of doctors. And therefore, we should express our gratitude to him,” Rector Sharvashidze said.
“You have defeated two deadliest diseases. It is a huge achievement not only for you, but for the entire world. You are an example of how one should take the initiative and bring the work to the end. Thank you for being such an example. I sincerely hope that our small country will achieve huge success, if it believes in itself,” President Salome Zourabichvili said and awarded the Order of Excellence to Tengiz Tsertsvadze.
“Tengiz Tsertsvadze is an example, because he spent his 70 years fighting with huge problems. Georgia joined the world’s efforts to combat AIDS and achieved huge success. Tengiz Tsertsvadze has made a huge contribution to this fight,” Parliamentary Chairman Archil Talakvadze said.
“We founded the HIV/AIDS Center as far back as the early 1980s, when only few people knew about AIDS. This Center is still functioning and due to its efforts, Georgia managed to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. At the same time, we have initiated the implementation of an unprecedented Hepatitis C Elimination Program, which has proven successful. 40,000 patients have been cured and over 120,000 patients will be cured in the future. It will be the first case in the world history, when a chronicle infectious disease has been eliminated. If things go right, by 2030 Georgia will be the first country in the world, where two major diseases of the 21st century – AIDS and Hepatitis C - will be eliminated,” Tengiz Tsertsvadze said at the evening.
Prof. Tengiz Tsertsvadze is the Head of the TSU Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Immunology; Director General of the Infectious Diseases, AIDS and Clinical Immunology Research Center. In 1990, the HIV/AIDS Center was founded upon his initiative. International experts describe the Center as the best institution in Eastern European countries and one of the best throughout the world. Due to the efforts of the Center, Georgia managed to prevent the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the country; the figures of saving HIV/AIDS patients, life expectancy
and quality of life have sharply increased; the instances of mother-to-child transmission of HIV have been reduced to zero.
Tengiz Tsertsvadze’s contribution to the development of the Georgian school of hepatology, primarily in the field of viral hepatitis, including Hepatitis C is very important. He has spearheaded the introduction of practically all modern high-technology methods of viral hepatitis diagnosis and treatment that resulted in selecting Georgia as the model country for implementing Hepatitis C Elimination Program.
Prof. Tengiz Tsertsvadze is involved in medical, scientific and pedagogical activities in the fields of HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and other infectious diseases.
In 2009, the Infectious Diseases, AIDS and Clinical Immunology Research Center led by Tengiz Tsertsvadze was awarded the Dr. LEE Jong-wook Memorial Prize for its special contribution to and pioneer research in the field of HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis. Not a single medical institution from Eastern European countries has been awarded the same prize so far.
Tengiz Tsertsvadze is one of the most successful researchers at TSU. He is the author of over 100 scientific papers, some of which have been published in high-impact journals. He is the author of a textbook and two monographs; head of the working group and co-author of over 20 national guidelines.