We’re reading about the rewards of biomedical research

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A mystery illness and the importance of research dollars – “Too many diagnoses for one person and all rare.” This was the puzzle that a new patient  presented to Dr. Charles Van Der Horst, during his medical internship in 1980. Over the next year science would begin to put the pieces together, and Dr. Van Der Horst would realize he had seen his first patient with AIDS. The man, who had been taken to the emergency room alone, died alone as well, but in the years that followed science yielded answers that now allow people with HIV to live good healthy lives, and that allow people to protect themselves and others from infection. With this story Dr. Van Der Horst, an Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, a global health consultant, an Infectious Diseases Society of America fellow and HIVMA member, makes a powerful case for the value of investments that drove medical progress while building the next generation of researchers and physicians who will continue advances against HIV and mystery illnesses to come.

As foreign powers approve Ebola vaccines, U.S. drug makers lag – Another argument for robust research funding is here, in STAT writer Helen Branswell’s description of the long and obstacle strewn road to the development of a vaccine against Ebola.

Brazil fights HIV spike in youths with free preventive drug – Long ahead of the curve in evidence-based and proactive policies to combat HIV, Brazil is responding to increasing infections among youth by offering pre-exposure prophylactic antiretroviral drugs — or PrEP —  for free to those at highest risk. Those interviewed stress that won’t be the only answer to the challenges of responding to a growing population of youth, but when the cost to the government of 75 cents a pill is compared to the costs of a new generation of Brazilians living with the virus, the investment is a small but critical one.


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