U.S.-Funded Research Critical To Advancing HIV Treatments, Improving Health

Durham Herald-Sun: A mystery illness, and the importance of research dollars — Dr. Charles van der Horst
Charles van der Horst, emeritus professor of medicine at UNC and global health consultant

“…[R]esearch conducted by the National Institutes of Health and CDC-funded scientists, many at Duke and UNC, and scientists at companies, including GlaxoSmithKline … led to the development of many new medications to treat HIV and its complications. Advocacy from patients forced the Food and Drug Administration to speed up the process of drug approval and to permit access to medications even before final approval. These medicines allowed patients to live a normal life and to virtually eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV. These miracles of science were all launched by taxpayer-supported agencies, specifically the NIH, CDC, FDA, the 50 state public health departments, and our research universities. Epidemiologists at the CDC monitored the spread of the epidemic allowing us to target our prevention efforts. Scientists at the FDA facilitated drug development. … Painstaking, federally funded research and the generosity of patients who participated in research studies showed us the way forward [on HIV]” (12/7).