News

    HIV/AIDS Advocate Says Global Community Must Shoulder Burden 

    Welcome to American Profiles, VOA's weekly spotlight on notable Americans who have made a difference in how we think, live and act.   Today: Anthony Fauci, a medical researcher whose tireless energy and drive for excellence have been crucial to the fight against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.

    Anthony Fauci could be called the science face of the nation.  He is the man you are most likely to see on U.S. television explaining the facts behind HIV/AIDS, bio-terrorism or pandemic flu. 

    Since 1984 Fauci has directed the federally funded National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which has a staff of 1,300 and an annual budget of $4.3 billion.

    He explains the agency’s mission. "Our mission and mandate is to apply the science we do for health in this country, but well beyond that for global health, so we have become extremely involved in global health issues at the same time as our world has evolved to be much more of a global community."

    Fauci seems very much a man on a mission. During a typical 15-hour workday he attends back-to-back meetings, writes and reviews scientific articles, and confers with researchers on the National Institutes of Health campus.

    Fauci says his drive comes from his upbringing.  He grew up in an Italian American neighborhood of New York and lived above the drugstore his father owned. "I was always very inquisitive, always interested in solving puzzles and answering questions."

    Fauci was good at science, but also loved sports and played basketball for his high school team.  He credits his Jesuit-led Christian education for teaching him the value of public service.  "It was almost understood that if you wanted to be the best person you possibly could be, the important thing in life is what you do for others."

    Fauci graduated from medical school at the height of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s.  Rather than be drafted into the military, he requested an assignment to the Public Health Service.  In 1968 he started working at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

    Then a mysterious medical event transformed his life. Dr. Fauci describes it. "And that is in 1981, at a time when I had already been establishing myself as a clinical and basic investigator of some note, these strange cases of gay men reported in Los Angeles, first, and then in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco with these unusual opportunistic diseases."

    That then-unnamed disease was AIDS. "From 1981 to 1983-84, we didn't even know what we were dealing with.  So it was more observational studies of what this disease was doing to the immune system."

    Fauci calls this time the "dark days" of AIDS.  He became the target of activist criticism, was burned in effigy and blamed for the government's inaction getting experimental drugs to the hands of people, desperate for treatment.  Recalling a protest staged outside his office, he says that instead of asking police to arrest the disruptive group, he invited the leaders upstairs to talk.

    "And I listened to what they were saying and [putting] aside the theater, the smoke bombs and the demonstrations and all the things that they did, and listened to the kinds of things the activists were saying and it actually made perfect sense."

    Now that the AIDS virus had been identified, Fauci's team could start looking for a cure. But it was not until the mid-1990s before they discovered a combination that made AIDS a manageable disease. However, he says, for those people in developing countries, these drugs are in short supply and unaffordable.

    "There is a whole other world out there besides us here in the United States and there are millions and millions of preventable deaths."

    Following a 2003 trip to Uganda, Fauci took his battle against HIV/AIDS to the White House. Later that year, Congress approved the president's $15 billion Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

    Now 66 years old, Anthony Fauci is still tireless in his dedication to saving lives. And he does so, he says, as a scientist driven by a life-long quest for knowledge and excellence.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora