HIV

World AIDS day is observed on December 1 every year to help raise awareness, commemorate those who have died from the virus, and encourage advocates and policymakers to increase their efforts in fighting the epidemic and supporting those whose lives have been impacted by it. This year, the World AIDS day theme is “Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships.” Although the U.S. government is at the forefront of tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic, its success depends on partnerships with other governments, the private sector, philanthropic organizations, multilateral institutions, and patient advocates. As a result of these strong partnerships, 19.5 million people...
Excerpt of an op-ed by Society for Neuroscience Early Career Science Policy Fellow Matthew J. Robson, PhD, published in The Tennessean . The United States has historically been a consistent, international force of innovation and advancement in biomedical research. Such research is not possible without federal funding of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. Although the NIH supports basic biomedical research aimed at a greater understanding of the causes of disease and the improved health of all Americans, relatively few understand the scope of the accomplishments of this agency. Research that depends upon NIH funding has...
Excerpt of an op-ed by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation President Claire Pomeroy, MD, published in the Huffington Post . As an HIV physician, I began my career early in the AIDS epidemic before effective antiviral medications existed. I held my patients’ hands as they cried when receiving their diagnosis and I went to their funerals. I saw hope in their eyes when new antivirals became available. And when protease inhibitors were licensed and “triple therapy” became the norm, I could help patients plan how they would live, rather than how they would die. Scientific breakthroughs happened only because of our nation’s commitment to biomedical research, but this power of research to make...
Since 1959, the Canada Gairdner Awards recognize and reward the achievements of medical researchers whose work contributes significantly to improving the quality of human life. Among the world’€™s most esteemed medical research prizes, the awards distinguish Canada as a leader in science and provide a $100,000 prize to each scientist for their work. Four U.S. scientists are among this year’€™s winners: Harvey J. Alter, MD and Daniel W. Bradley, PhD received the Canada Gairdner International Award for their contributions to the discovery and isolation of the hepatitis C virus. Dr. Alter is a senior investigator and Chief Infectious Diseases Section and associate director for research,...
Excerpt of an article by Ariana Eunjung Cha, published in the The Washington Post . A year ago, Yuntao Wu was on a roll. The George Mason University researcher had just published a study hailed by the scientific press as ’€œgroundbreaking’€ that reveals why HIV targets only a specific kind of T-cell and, separately, found that a compound in soybeans seemed to have promise for inhibiting infection. These days, Wu ’€” one of thousands of scientists who lost his grant in the wake of sequester cuts ’€” says he spends much of his time hunched over a desk asking various people and organizations for money. The deep across-the-board cuts in government spending that took effect March 1 have sent...
Excerpt of an article by Ariana Eunjung Cha, published in the The Washington Post . A year ago, Yuntao Wu was on a roll. The George Mason University researcher had just published a study hailed by the scientific press as ’€œgroundbreaking’€ that reveals why HIV targets only a specific kind of T-cell and, separately, found that a compound in soybeans seemed to have promise for inhibiting infection. These days, Wu ’€” one of thousands of scientists who lost his grant in the wake of sequester cuts ’€” says he spends much of his time hunched over a desk asking various people and organizations for money. The deep across-the-board cuts in government spending that took effect March 1 have sent...
Thousands of scientists, patients and research advocates gathered on the grounds of the Carnegie Library in Washington, DC, on April 8 to unite behind a call for increased funding for medical research. The Rally for Medical Research was organized by the American Association for Cancer Research in conjunction with their annual meeting and was supported by more than 200 partnering organizations ’€” including Research!America. The program featured statements from patients and their families, scientists, policy makers, and research advocates. Cokie Roberts of ABC News and NPR, cancer survivor and research advocate, was the master of ceremonies. Survivors of heart disease, stroke, HIV, Type 1...
An article in the most recent issue of The Scientist highlighted the importance of affordable diagnostics for global health. Although scientific advances have improved treatment options for many global diseases, a lack of effective, low-cost diagnostics hinders the health of many in the developing world. For example, medicines to treat HIV and tuberculosis have been life-saving for many individuals, but they can cause liver damage and patients on these medications must be monitored. However, the primary test for liver damage requires expensive equipment that is simply not available in low-income countries. To solve this problem, a Massachusetts biotech company, Diagnostics For All ,...

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