HIV/AIDS

This article is the second in a series highlighting the accomplishments of Research!America’s 2017 Advocacy Award honorees who will be saluted at a dinner in Washington, D.C., on March 15. More details can be found here . Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., is Research!America’s recipient of the Legacy Award , which honors an individual’s outstanding commitment to sustaining our nation’s world-class leadership in medical and health research. Dr. Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). An effective communicator, Dr. Fauci has testified before Congress more than 250 times, voicing strong support for biomedical...
Dear Research Advocate: Mark your calendar for two important days next week: First, next Monday, Dec. 1, is World AIDS Day. Check out our updated fact sheet , which provides a snapshot of HIV/AIDS and the transformative impact of HIV/AIDS research. I especially hope that you will take the time to read the profile of Maria Davis, an individual living with HIV who works to help others with, or at risk of contracting, the disease. When I think of what I’€™m thankful for, people like Maria are high on my list. Which leads me to another reason to express gratitude, this time to the many organizations and individuals who participated in Public Health Thank You Day (PHTYD) on Nov. 24. Research!...
Dear Research Advocate: Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) ’€” one of the most effective and dedicated champions of medical and health research ever to serve in public office ’€” introduced major new legislation, the Accelerate Biomedical Research Act. This visionary legislation would increase the budget caps in order to boost National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to $46.2 billion by FY 2021, a strategy for restoring NIH purchasing power without cutting into funding for other national priorities. You can view my statement on the legislation here and our thank you letter to the Senator here . It would be terrific if you would write a letter of support for the legislation and send a...
Today is World TB Day. It is a day that gives us each the space to better understand the magnitude of the TB threat, mourn the loss of the more than 1 million people worldwide who die of TB each year, recognize the tragic consequences for their loved ones and for economic stability in impoverished nations, and express gratitude for those who conduct TB research, finance and deploy on-the-ground interventions, and advocate for the resources needed to conquer this vicious killer. TB is the second most common cause of death from infectious disease, after HIV/AIDS. In 2012, approximately 8.6 million developed TB and 1.3 million died from the disease, with the death rate particularly high among...
Dear Research Advocate: Yesterday, President Obama tweeted about the effects of sequestration on medical research. From @barackobama, “The #sequester is slowing the pace of medical research, delaying the discovery of cures and treatments. Read more .” It is terrific that the president is helping drive increased attention to medical research. Our thanks to him and also to all who have joined our Memorial Day recess week of social media advocacy . The American Heart Association posted this great image to its Facebook page; we also thank Society for Neuroscience , BIO , The Endocrine Society , Melanoma Research Alliance , University of Maryland School of Medicine , CURE Epilepsy and UPenn...
by Morgan McCloskey, Global Health Intern and Ellie Dehoney, Vice President of Policy and Programs at Research!America. This entry was originally posted as a guest contribution to the USAID IMPACT Blog. Doctor prepares malaria treatment. Photo credit: IMAD In the past decade, U.S. investments in science, technology and innovation have led to critical breakthroughs in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of deadly global diseases. We now have a meningitis vaccine for African populations, a new test that can quickly diagnose drug-resistant TB and promising data indicating that a vaccine could prevent HIV infection. We have developed desperately needed new drugs for neglected diseases and have...
A few weeks ago, we wrote about a Mississippi toddler who was "€œfunctionally cured"€ of HIV. Now, there is one more reason to celebrate: French researchers identified 14 adults who have been functionally cured of HIV as well. The adults received antiviral treatment within a few months of infection, but all stopped treatment at some point for a variety of reasons. Despite discontinued treatment, researchers found that these adults had extremely low levels of HIV and that their immune systems were controlling the infection without drugs. Although further research is necessary, scientists hope that other adults may be able to cease antiviral treatment and live healthily without drugs. This...
New research from Research!America member Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that a component of bee venom can be safely used to target and kill HIV virus particles while leaving human cells intact. The compound, called melittin, punches holes in the outer protective coat, or ’€œenvelope,’€ of viruses, including HIV. Researchers modified the nanoparticle to protect human cells from the toxin by adding ’€œbumpers’€ to prevent the toxin-laden particles from fusing with cells, yet the smaller virus particles are able to fit between these bumpers and interact with melittin. The lead author on the study, Joshua L. Hood, MD, PhD, says that application of this new...
Dear Research Advocate, Yesterday, the House passed a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year that includes this year’€™s cuts from sequestration along with an additional one percent across-the-board cut. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration, where we are likely to see higher funding levels than the House version, but with sequestration still in place. Congress seems anxious to avoid the brinksmanship and the government shutdown threats that have characterized past debates. While the less rancorous environment surrounding the CR is a welcome change, the complacency around sequestration is not. As research advocates, we cannot let these cuts stand. Sequestration isn’€™t a...
On March 4, NIH-supported investigators reported the first ever "€œfunctional cure"€ of HIV in a toddler in Mississippi. The child received antiretroviral drugs within hours of birth and continued on the drugs for 18 months, when treatment was stopped. Despite discontinued treatment, the toddler no longer had detectable levels of HIV when seen by medical professionals 6 months later. Subsequent tests confirmed that the child had indeed been "€œfunctionally cured"€ of HIV. Although more research is necessary to see if these results can be duplicated, scientists believe this provides hope for the hundreds of thousands of children born with HIV each year. NIH funding not only supported...

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You can change the image of things to come. But you can’t do it sitting on your hands … The science community should reach out to Congress and build bridges.
The Honorable John E. Porter