Timothy Ray Brown, cured of HIV, rallies public to support research funding
In the 10th anniversary year since a bone marrow stem cell transplant cured Timothy Ray Brown of his HIV infection, despite disappointment over decreasing public desire to find a cure for HIV, Timothy Ray Brown remains optimistic that the scientific and medical communities can and will achieve this if properly funded. He describes his most recent activities and the basis for his pessimism and optimism in the article "Timothy Ray Brown's Continuing Activism Toward Curing HIV," published in the latest HIV Cure Research Issue of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.
Throughout his "10 Cure Birthday" year's busy schedule of activities, Timothy Ray Brown "learned a few things last year that I found disappointing...I participated in two HIV cure seminars...The responses from many [participants] surprised me. Perhaps I misinterpreted this but I would say most of them indicated that they were afraid of HIV being cured. This is mostly due to the fear of how it would worsen their lives, that they would stand to lose all or most of the benefits they have today."
"The development of drugs to treat HIV infection has saved countless lives but led to complacency about this horrible virus," says Thomas Hope, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses and Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine (Chicago, IL). "In this update of his travels as an advocate of HIV cure research, Timothy Ray Brown reminds us that we still need to advocate for funding and educate the public about the important impact that a functional cure for HIV would have on society while understanding the complex ways that a cure would impact people living with AIDS. His insights as the first person cured of HIV are fascinating."