Blog: Amplify

19 Years Searching for a Cure to AIDS

A lot has been accomplished over the years since HIV/AIDS first was discovered. Scientists have come a long way toward finding a cure, and in the process many of those afflicted with the disease are living much longer than in the past.

It’s the incremental steps made by scientists around the world that have gotten us this far.

Critical to that research is funding. The Campbell Foundation in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which always has encouraged early innovation, has spent the last 19 years providing grants to help plant the seeds that have led to cutting edge research around the world.

The foundation accepts proposals for one-year grants, which are vetted by a pro bono peer review board. The process is thorough and on par with reviews conducted by the National Institutes of Health.

During its 19 years in existence, The Campbell Foundation has given away almost $9 million dollars in grants to researchers around the world.

In 2013, Funders Concerned About AIDS ranked the foundation among the top HIV/AIDS funders in the country.

Just after the start of 2014, the Campbell Foundation awarded its first grant of the year to the White River Junction VA Medical Center in Vermont.

Researchers there developed strong preliminary data showing that HSV-2 (the herpes simplex virus) exacerbates HIV due to a molecule (CXCL9) that increases the number of HIV target cells, which in turn reduces the effectiveness of tenofovir, an otherwise effective drug used to treat HIV. It’s hoped that the nearly $80,000 grant will help researchers better understand whether by blocking CXCL9 – which is activated by the sexually transmitted virus herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2) – HIV-1 infection in women can be decreased and the efficacy of tenofovir can be improved.

One of the foundation’s more recent successes has come in the form of a grant to a Lauren Sciences research team at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. Scientists there were able to overcome the “blood brain barrier” that prevents the HIV-fighting drug tenofovir from passing into the brain to treat the neurological complications of HIV.

The blood-brain barrier exists at the shared boundary between the bloodstream and central nervous system tissues. In the early days of HIV/AIDS, patients often were afflicted with severe dementia. Even today, studies suggest that as many as half of those with HIV have some cognitive defects.

The project was hugely successful and with the one-year grant provided by The Campbell Foundation, researchers were able to show delivery of significant therapeutic quantities of tenofovir into the brain by intravenous administration, according to Lauren Sciences LLC’s Chairman and CEO Susan Rosenbaum, who recently was invited to speak about the breakthrough at the Fourth Annual Conference of the American Society for Nanomedicine in Rockville, Md.

This system of synthetic nanoscale structures dubbed “V-SmartTM technology” allows both intravenous and oral medications to pass through biological barriers and makes it possible to target exactly where the drug will be released in the brain, making it more effective and reducing unwanted side effects.

The goal is to be able to begin efficacy studies in HIV mice this year and to start clinical trials about two years after. And, if it works in humans, then we may have a new therapeutic for AIDS patients.

As the Campbell Foundation prepares for its 20-year anniversary in 2015, we hope that one day our mission is accomplished and a cure for AIDS is discovered.

Ken Rapkin is a Program Officer at the Campbell Foundation.

Comments

I was diagnose 2017 and find out I’m HIV positive.I was scared because there is no cure for HIV/AIDS but today some people still don’t believe that there is cure for HIV, it can only be cured through Africans root and herbs,and our doctor’s here in USA few of them know’s about the African herbal medicine can cure Hiv but they chooses to hide it from us just to make a sales of ARV DRUGS. I did a research online finding way to get rid of my disease,I saw a comment about a herbal doctor on internet Name Dr alabi who has cured several disease with his powerful herbal medicine, I contacted him on whats-app, chat with him explain my self to him.He said he can cure hiv perfectly well , he gave me his request which i send to him. within 5 days he sent me the herbal medicine through ups courier delivering service And told me how to take the medicine for 2 weeks to get cured,I did for 2 weeks, within this 2 weeks i notice a very big change in my health and i new some thing great has happened then i went to confirm my result it was absolutely Negative.The doctor who new i was hiv positive was asking me how come i am negative, what did it took to get cure and were did i get this medicine from and how did i get rid of it I told him every thing about the herbal medicine that cure me. imagine doctor telling me not to let anyone know about it,I wasn’t shock though i knew they know about the herbal cure but choose to hide it in other to make sales on ARV DRUGS,if you are HIV positive please contact my savior dr.alabiherbalhome@gmail.com or WHATSAPP him through this number +2348115204568

Add new comment