Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our Call for NIH to Quadruple AIDS Cure Spending is in Nature Medicine!

Today, as we were putting out a fund raising letter for our group, we were pleased to see our demand--that the NIH spend $240 million for direct AIDS cure research--cited in the major scientific journal Nature Medicine. The NIH currently spends less than $60 million, or 3% of its AIDS research budget, on direct cure research.

Yet this is an opportunity for the US to do something great in the world while preserving our national interest: The US spends $24 billion on AIDS every year. AIDS will soon comprise half the US foreign aid budget. If we can develop a cure, we will solve one of the world's worst plagues and save billions upon billions of dollars every year.

So here's the fundraising pitch: The AIDS Policy Project is engaged in cutting-edge AIDS advocacy focused solely on a cure. We wrote the first plain-English report, "AIDS Cure Research for Everyone," on the scientific issues and political landscape around a cure. We held the first town meetings, and engaged the top researchers in the field. We gave the first award to Gero Huetter, the man who cured the Berlin Patient, on the steps of San Francisco City Hall on behalf of the people of San Francisco. Our investigation yielded the fact that the NIH was spending only 3% to find a cure. We will be the first organization that crowdsources new AIDS cure ideas online. And this was Year 1 of our campaign.

Please consider making a contribution to more groundbreaking AIDS advocacy.

One of our goals is to raise awareness of the lack of funding for AIDS cure research--raise it in the larger scientific community, in the general public, and most of all among funders including US Congress and the White House. And awareness is certainly growing--for instance, there was a major article in New York Magazine about this issue last week, which we pitched and where we are quoted (barely). But we are the only group to publicly call for more funding for a cure. We are shaping events, not just monitoring them or trying to exploit them for fundraising. Power concedes nothing without a demand, to quote Frederick Douglass. It never has, and it never will.

We believe that the "scientific strategy" for a cure should include, among other things, enough funding so that major, scientifically worthy cure projects are not delayed by years due to lack of money. This is not currently the case.

Can we hold the NIH to its brand-new commitment to, as Tony Fauci recently put it, "Pull out all the stops" to develop a cure?

Together we can.
Please make a contribution to our June AIDS advocacy campaign--our goal is to raise $30,000 by June 30.

Join us. You will look back on this moment and be proud that you did.


Kate Krauss, for everyone at the AIDS Policy Project

Nature Medicine: On thirtieth anniversary, calls for HIV cure research intensify