The HIV community lost a leader and a champion with the death of Dr. Mark Wainberg Tuesday. The chair of the HIV Medicine Association, a producer of this blog, released a statement recognizing some of Dr. Wainberg’s contributions today, which we share here:
The HIV community is deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of Mark Wainberg this week. Mark was known to all of us as an innovator in the field of HIV and, in particular, in drug development. Dr. Wainberg was the head of AIDS Research at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Director of the McGill University AIDS Center and Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He consistently pushed the boundaries of conventional thought whether he was advocating for new treatment paradigms or universal and equitable access to medications for all those living with HIV across the globe. As President of the International AIDS Society, Mark was an early proponent of holding scientific meetings where the epidemic was most severe, often in the developing world, a practice that is now usual. He strongly opposed AIDS denialism and was vocal in his opposition of former South African President Thabo Mbeki’s damaging stance and policies. At the time of his death, he remained an active investigator focusing on HIV cure strategies. His commitment to science and social justice will continue to be a motivating force and an inspiration to the global HIV community. He will be sorely missed.
The International AIDS Society, for which Dr. Wainberg served as president from 1998 to 2000 has posted a remembrance here, summing up a life of conviction, commitment, and lasting impact.