End of AIDS Pandemic in Sight, Fauci Says

NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci says HIV/
AIDS changed his career and life.
NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci says HIV/AIDS changed his career and life.

It is the global pandemic that has defined his life and career, and NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci says it is now within the realm of possibility that society can bring HIV/ AIDS to a close, if we “follow the science.”

Speaking at Clinical Center Grand Rounds on the 35th anniversary of the first two reports about unusual infections killing gay men, Fauci credited NIH, and specifically its hospital, with having the latitude to let scientists drop everything and pursue a new field.

He reviewed “nothing short of breathtaking” advances in science since 1981 that have a made a historically unprecedented vista possible: a global infectious disease killing millions that is defined and corralled within a single generation.

But we are not there yet, he warned.

Fauci was working on the CC’s 11th floor when he read the first two articles in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published within a month of each other, about a strange new disease affecting gay men in large U.S. cities.

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For Native Hawaiians, Canoe Instills Pride, Healing

Legendary Hawaiian hero Archie Kalepa
Legendary Hawaiian hero Archie Kalepa

What brought members of a Hawaiian canoe crew to NIH? It’s a story of cultural revival and communal healing. It’s a story of treacherous journeys into an unforgiving ocean to connect with their Native Hawaiian heritage and rekindle the spirit and pride of an endangered population.

Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, gave an impassioned talk to an overflowing crowd in Lister Hill Auditorium recently. He described the hope and tragedy of his voyages aboard the canoe Hōkūle‘a, meaning Star of Gladness, which coincided with the cultural renaissance of Native Hawaiians in the 1970s.

They’d been second-class citizens in their own land for decades, their language and culture suppressed. And they were dying out. When Capt. Cook sailed to Hawaii 250 years ago, there were up to 1 million Native Hawaiians, descended from the original Polynesian settlers. But the 1922 Census recorded only 22,000, many having succumbed to malaria, smallpox, influenza and other diseases.

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