- Dr. Anthony Fauci began as a public health expert during the HIV / AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
- Fauci said today that he never wanted to become director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), but was motivated by the lack of attention the HIV / AIDS crisis has received. .
- I believe there is a lot to be learned from COVID-19 vaccines that could lead to an HIV vaccine.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is one of the nation’s leading experts on the new coronavirus pandemic. Nearly four decades before COVID-19 spread around the world, it faced another deadly and less publicized epidemic.
Fauci said today about his first career experience working as a senior researcher for the National Institutes of Health, as the HIV / AIDS crisis hit in 1981. He became one of the country’s leading HIV / AIDS researchers. the deadly epidemic has claimed the lives of 700,000 people in the United States.
“It’s been a particularly transformative time.” said Today. “I remember very distinctly sitting in my office outside my lab in the clinic’s hospital where I saw the first (report) describing the first five patients in Los Angeles with this curious new disease, without anyone knowing it. what was happening. “
He spent much of his career trying to find solutions to the HIV / AIDS crisis, which motivated him to become a director of NIAID.
“I never had any aspirations to be director of the institute, but it was clear to me that we were not paying so much attention to infectious diseases in general, but specifically to HIV,” Today said.
HIV / AIDS research and treatment have grown rapidly since the 1980s
Treatments for HIV / AIDS have greatly improved since Fauci first learned about the virus in the 1980s.
In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention people reported living with HIV, who have been taking antiviral medication regularly for at least six months, have undetectable viral loads, meaning they cannot transmit it to other people.
People looking to protect themselves from HIV also now have the opportunity to take it pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a drug that greatly reduces the chance of someone contracting the virus because of sex or sharing needles. Sionti to WHO, taking PrEP can reduce the likelihood of someone contracting HIV by sex by 99%.
Scientists have not yet developed a vaccine for HIV, but Fauci has hope. While HIV attacks the body differently than COVID-19, the process of developing vaccines for COVID-19 taught specialists ways to reinvent the development of vaccines.
“We hope that some of the things we have learned from COVID-19 vaccines will finally help us develop an effective and very effective HIV vaccine,” Fauci said. “So we always hope that happens.”