Center For AIDS Research

December 1, 2017

The Network News
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Special Edition: World AIDS Day 2017
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Donate to the CFAR for World AIDS Day
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Research Space at the Ponce Center May Be Expanded

On November 30, government, business and medical leaders came together to celebrate 25 years of treating patients, conducting research and saving lives at the Ponce Center -- one of the largest and most comprehensive programs for the treatment of HIV/AIDS in the nation.

After Grady announced a capital campaign to renovate and expand the Ponce Center earlier this year both the Fulton County Commission and DeKalb County Commission voted unanimously to provide half of the funding needed and Gilead Sciences, Inc. made the lead corporate gift towards the project.

At last night's event, Atlanta real-estate executive and philanthropist Eliot Arnovitz announced a donation in honor of his wife, CFARian Phyllis Kozarsky (SOM/MED/ID), towards the expansion of the IDP.

Finally, Carlos del Rio announced that the Emory Medical Care Foundation has made a commitment of $2 million to expand the research space at the IDP. This commitment is pending final approval from the University's Board of Trustees in early 2018.

Fingers Crossed!

Divider Rule Better Living Through Chemistry...
Discovering and Developing Emtricitabine

In commemeration of World AIDS Day 2017, The American Chemical Society (ACS) has produced an open access webinar recording, starring Dennis Liotta -- co-inventor of Emtricitabine (the "Em" stands for Emory) -- covering a brief history and discovery of the drugs that have helped HIV-infected people live active lives. It is estimated that greater than 90% of all of the HIV-infected persons in the United States take or have taken one of the drugs Emory CFAR faculty invented.

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Focus On...    

A Statement from the CFAR Leadership...

On World AIDS Day 2017 (#WAD2017), people all around the world will pause to mourn the lives that have been lost to AIDS and recommit to the search for a cure, a vaccine, and even more effective, affordable, and accessible therapies. They will also celebrate the research advances that have extended life for millions of people living with HIV and prevented millions more from becoming infected.

Over 30 years into the pandemic, the challenges that we face in containing and vanquishing HIV remain formidable and complex. In the southern United States, HIV has become a pressing health equity issue as the virus has had a relentless and disproportionate impact on young gay and bisexual men of color. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now projects that half of black gay men and a quarter of Latino gay men in the United States will be diagnosed with HIV within their lifetime.

This is not a new problem. Throughout our history, economic and social inequalities have left minorities and the poor uniquely vulnerable to multiple, interconnected health issues, including tuberculosis, hepatitis, diabetes, heart disease, and HIV. For that reason, we will never successfully conquer HIV until we address the social determinants of health and make the achievement of good health equally feasible for all people.

Unfortunately, many people have grown complacent about HIV. In the early years of the epidemic, vocal and politically savvy activists succeeded in pushing AIDS onto the public stage, aided in part by Hollywood through Emmy and Oscar winning movies (And the Band Played On; Philadelphia). But as the years passed and HIV transitioned to a chronic disease disproportionately affecting minorities and the poor, the epidemic fell out of the public spotlight. HIV, still one of the leading causes of death among vulnerable people in the United States, is forgotten but not gone.

While much has been accomplished thus far, more remains to be done. Fortunately, there is hope.

Researchers at the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) at Emory University are among scientists from around the world who have made enormous strides in unlocking the secrets of HIV at the molecular level, in developing successful behavioral and biomedical prevention interventions, and in getting safe and effective treatments to people in need all over the world.

We now have the technical capacity to prevent babies from being born with HIV, to essentially eliminate the risk of transmitting or acquiring the virus thanks to medications that control viral replication, and to achieve near-average life spans for people living with HIV.

Thanks to such advancements, the CDC reports that nearly half of the 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States were virally suppressed in 2014. To reach the other 50 percent, we need to ensure that these scientific breakthroughs are put into practice by making life-saving interventions available and accessible to everyone who needs them.

Please join us in dedicating #WAD2017 to assuring everyone's Right to Health (this year's World AIDS Day theme) by reenergizing our efforts to bring HIV back into the public's consciousness, by promoting universal testing for HIV, and by advocating for widespread access to high quality, affordable HIV prevention and care.

You can make a difference by educating yourself and others about the epidemic, being tested for HIV and encouraging others to do so, and by working together to make 2018 a safer, healthier year for people living with and at risk for HIV in Atlanta and throughout the world! Together, we can make a difference.

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Spotlight Spotlight

Footlights | Vaccine Dinner Club - Wednesday, December 6

Focus: History, the Future

     VDC logo

 

Count Me In!
Click Here to Register

Think Globally, Act Locally:
The Emory Experience in Developing HIV Vaccines

Starring

Rama Amara, PhD
Charles Howard Candler Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Emory University School of Medicine

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The Network News is a periodic email, detailing HIV/AIDS related events, funding opportunities, and achievements of CFAR members. If you have items that you wish to have included, please send them to us at cfar@emory.edu by Friday of each week. Please put "The Network News" in the subject line.

The Network News is distributed to CFAR members and fans by email every Tuesday. Except when it isn't.

Editor, Kimberley (Kimbi) Sessions Hagen, EdD

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