Friday, September 18, 2009

A Grass Roots Fundraiser for a New AIDS Vaccine.

AIDS vaccine trials have been mostly disappointing because, as the virus mutates, the antibodies that attack the virus becomes ineffective. Sometimes the tested vaccines actually make things worse. So, the medical establishment has been at a kind of standstill on the subject. Also, as I learned from a class where I was a guest at the Stanford School of Medical Ethics, drug companies make a lot more money by selling drugs to long-term diseases than by curing them.

Therefore, when biochemist and immunologist Sudhir Paul at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston discovered a weakness in the virus -- an antigen discovered in people with Lupus -- which manages to disable the virus across multiple permutations, they became very excited and are ready to move into human studies of a new vaccine based on the research.

News article in Washington Post.
And more information here.

So, to that end, they are holding a fundraising event in New York to get funding for human trials. Here is the information from the press release:

CIF (Covalent Immunology Foundation) is a new non-profit organization created to raise money to further the research of Dr. Sudhir Paul who is on the cusp of creating a revolutionary vaccine for HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Paul has dedicated the last 26 years of his life to searching for a cure for HIV after accidentally discovering antibodies with catalytic activity in one of his patients in the 1980’s. With the help of over $30 Million in NIH grants, Dr. Paul has developed a prototype vaccine that successfully eliminates nature’s restrictions on production of protective antibodies to HIV by the immune system.

The Foundation's efforts will be jump-started by HARD MEDICINE, a 300 person gala at the Red Bull Event Space in SoHo, NYC on September 24th. Guest of honor Dr. Paul will be joined by a diverse group of influential young New Yorkers and celebrities from the worlds of fashion, music, art, and media who have come together to donate their time and efforts for the good of one doctor’s remarkable work. The evening will feature a musical performance by Amanda Blank, a limited edition gift from Bing Bang Jewelry and a silent auction with original artwork and items from exclusive fashion labels including DVF.

And we all have our fingers crossed.

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For my birthday, also St. Francis of Assisi Day,

here is "Rescue" the song I sang to Erika Amato 's Buddy the dog. Imagine if we loved humans as much as we love our animals...