This is a guest blog post from Kevin Robert Frost, Chief Executive Officer of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.
As we mark World AIDS Day, there is a real reason to believe that a cure for HIV is within reach.
We know so much more about HIV than we did just five years ago and the pace of cure-focused research is accelerating rapidly. To keep that momentum, we recently launched the amfAR Research Consortium on HIV Eradication (ARCHE), which brings together the world’s brightest scientific minds. ARCHE research teams communicate frequently, share ideas, and work collaboratively to address distinct aspects of the search for a cure.
Now is a truly exciting yet critical time in AIDS research. Some of these innovative researchers are focusing on ways to overcome one of the major impediments to finding a lasting cure — viral reservoirs, areas in the body where HIV can evade current drug therapies.
- Dr. Sarah Palmer and Dr. Frederick Hecht are studying blood, bone marrow, lymph node, and other tissue samples to find reservoirs that are responsible for HIV persisting despite antiretroviral therapy.
- Dr. Janet Siliciano is comparing methods of measuring HIV in reservoirs to determine which are the most accurate and practical. This is technically very challenging but crucial for finding a cure.
- Dr. Robert Siliciano and Dr. Janice Clements are identifying FDA-approved drugs used to treat other conditions that have the potential to fight HIV infection. Their findings could lead to strategies that may shorten the development time to cure HIV/AIDS.
Looking back on this past year, I am excited by the ARCHE program’s progress in 2011. This collaborative approach is already producing results that far exceed what can be done by the individual laboratories. Teamwork — it’s what we need to keep AIDS research moving forward.
We invite you to visit our Making AIDS History website to meet some of the people who inspire us to keep working towards a cure.
On behalf of everyone at amfAR, thank you for recognizing World AIDS Day with us. It’s an honor knowing you share our passion and determination to find a cure!
To sign the Let’s Make AIDS History petition, click here.
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested nearly $325 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide. For more information, visit www.amfar.org.