amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Our Moonshot

In my 22 years at amfAR, few days can rival November 30, 2015—the eve of World AIDS Day—for filling me with hope for the future. That’s when we announced the establishment of the amfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research with a five-year $20 million grant to the University of California, San Francisco. The Institute is the centerpiece of our $100 million investment strategy aimed at developing the scientific basis of a cure by the end of 2020.

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Kevin Robert Frost flanked by Dr. Paul Volberding (left), director of the new amfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research, and amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole

Working in collaboration with other teams of researchers addressing the scientific challenges that stand in the way of a cure, the Institute has the potential to become the nerve center for HIV cure research in the U.S. Without doubt, it brings together many of the finest minds and most experienced researchers working in the field today. HIV cure research has largely evolved from a process of discovery to a challenge of technology. Getting to a cure will require the development of better tools and agents than we currently have today. Armed with new tools and new knowledge, our expectation is that within a few years we can begin to cure some of the people some of the time, then most of the people most of the time. Ultimately, we hope, we’ll have a safe and effective cure that can be made available to all who need it.

In his famous 1961 speech to Congress announcing his intention to put a man on the moon within a decade, President John F. Kennedy said there was no point agreeing to the proposition unless the country was prepared to “do the work and bear the burdens to make it successful.”

At amfAR, finding a cure for HIV is our moonshot, and we’re willing to do the work and bear the burdens. And I’m confident that, with the right investments and with your continued support and partnership, we will find a cure for HIV.

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