WWR: Remembering Champions in the Fight Against AIDS, News from the Field, and Critical Research

By Jane Coaston | September 21, 2012

James Pursey/EPGAF

This week, we’re remembering pioneers in HIV treatment research, learning about the Foundation’s work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and reading about new research emerging from clinical trials for a HIV vaccine.

New York TimesJerome Horwitz, AZT Creator, Dies at 93  Originally intending it to be a treatment for some types of cancer, Jerome Horwitz developed AZT (short for azidothymidine). 22 years after the compound was created, AZT became one of the first antiviral medications to be used for HIV, saving millions of lives. Dr. Horwitz died this week at the age of 93.

Scientific AmericanVaccine Trial Reveals Weak Spots in HIV's Armor  At the AIDS Vaccine conference held earlier this month in Boston, Massachusetts, researchers released a paper indicating that creating an immune response is essential to making an effective vaccine for HIV. The paper noted that people who were able to respond to early trial versions of an HIV vaccine were capable of creating antibodies to a specific part of the HIV virus. Researchers are now focused on duplicating those results and learning more about the relationships between these antibodies and the HIV virus.

Jane Coaston is Media Relations Coordinator for the Foundation, based in Washington, D.C.