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Carol Jenkins was a renowned medical anthropologist who worked with sex workers, transgender people and drug users. Carol was born in 1945 in the USA but she spent her life working for the health and human rights of marginalized people throughout the world, using her research skills to collect data and document the lives of people in order to improve their situations with evidence of what would benefit them.
Carol Jenkin's work and publications included a study of life opportunities for transgenders in Thailand, a study of rape of sex workers in Cambodia, and HIV assessments in the Middle East and North Africa. She pioneered the use of respondent driven sampling with sex workers in Fiji, Cambodia and elsewhere. In 2004, she established the Travis Jenkins Memorial Award in memory of her husband. The Award is presented each year to a current or former injecting drug user who has made an outstanding contribution to reducing drug related harm. In an interview with Carol Jenkins in 2006, which appeared in 'In SHARP Focus', No. 1, 2006 (OSI, Open Society Institute, New York) , she described herself as a medical anthropologist and human biologist who worked for 10 years on human growth and nutrition in developing countries. By the early 1990s her research interests had moved to study infectious diseases and HIV. She served in the following positions: Principal Research Officer, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research; the Head of Social and Behavioral Research for Sexual and Reproductive Health at ICDDR,B (Bangladesh); Resident Advisor for Family Health International, Bangladesh; Senior Scientist for Social and Behavioral HIV Prevention Research at the Division of AIDS at NIAID (NIH); Senior Regional Advisor for the Asia-Near East for USAID, and was a consultant for a large number of international donors. She was the director of 'Alternate Visions', a company working for UNAIDS in Fiji, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea. Carol Jenkins died on 22 January 2008.