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AIDS has killed more than 25 million people worldwide. It’s claimed the lives of tennis great Arthur Ashe, Hollywood icon Rock Hudson, newsman Max Robinson and a little boy named Ryan White, among so many others. There is currently no cure for the disease, but modern medicine has developed drugs that significantly prolong and enhance the lives of infected patients.
See also: World AIDS Day: HIV/AIDS and people over 50
The man behind many of those drugs is Dr. Anthony Fauci, a renowned and award-winning research physician who has spent the last three decades searching for a cure to the devastating disease. Over the years, many doctors have walked away from the hopelessly incurable illness and advised Fauci to do the same. Determined, however, he’s remained steadfast in his mission; often working 16-hour days, relentlessly searching for answers.
“You were faced everyday with looking death in the eye and trying to do what you can to forestall it and help somebody,” Fauci says. “And you were sustained by the fact that you were doing research that you would hope someday would develop drugs that could get people to lead normal lives.”
Fauci’s research and dogged determination has enabled him and his team to create drugs that allow inflicted patients to live for decades longer than they otherwise would have. He’s saved literally millions of lives and has received recognition for his work from both celebrities and politicians alike. In 2008 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and he’s one of the most-cited researchers in the field of HIV/AIDS. While his accomplishments have been great, Dr. Fauci is determined not to quit until he can find a definitive cure that doesn’t include prolonged reliance on medications.
My Generation got an inside look at the life and work of this inspiring doctor.
Richard M. Cohen | Health Columnist
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