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AIDS Healthcare Foundation Expands Into AIDS Research

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The largest global AIDS organization is expanding its clinical services to incorporate basic scientific research.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation–or AHF–announced Tuesday that it is sponsoring a new institute designed to translate research into human clinical trials. The organization says the ultimate goal is to bridge the gap between knowledge and actual treatment of the disease.

AHF President Michael Weinstein said during a telephone news conference that the Foundation is embarking on the project because of information learned through it’s international clinical experience. AHF provides medical care to roughly 176,000 people in 27 countries.

Weinstein says with millions of HIV/AIDS patients worldwide unable to access daily doses of anti-retroviral drugs to help keep the diease at bay, there’s a desperate need for alternative treatments.

WEINSTEIN: And we believe that there’s things on the horizon which will be able to get beyond that daily dosing regimen, you know, whether it’s an extreme therapy or a neutralizing antibody or some type of intervention that could either be given periodically or ultimately that could cure the disease.

The institute will work to understand how the body interacts with the virus and uncover ways to enhance a patient’s immune system, like possibly transferring HIV-fighting antibodies into humans. Weinstein says AHF will also try to focus more attention on current anti-retroviral therapies.

UCLA professor Dr. Otto Yang will serve as the institute’s first scientific director.

Written by Xorje Olivares

August 30, 2012 at 5:00 PM

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