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AIDS Sees 30th Anniversary as Donald Abrams is Recognized for Community Efforts

Daily Dose 2011-06-07 0 comments

As we reach the 30th Anniversary of the recognition of Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), we pay tribute the fallen as well as those whose lives have benefited from the use of medical cannabis, and one of the first physicians that helped both the AIDS and medical cannabis communities.

By Sam Sabzehzar

The following excerpt was taken from

“Three decades after the first cases of AIDS were recorded, more than 60 million people have been infected worldwide. Scientists agree that the epidemic is far from over and, even with major treatment advances and improvement in understanding the illness, hurdles remain in the effort to eradicate the disease.

Thirty years ago, the Centers for Disease Control reported that five previously healthy young men in Los Angeles had come down with a rare lung disease. It was the start of a medical mystery, solved years later with the discovery of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. We talk with activists and caregivers in San Francisco who were part of those early days of the epidemic (Shafer, 6/3).

NPR: As AIDS Turns 30, Scientists Reminisce
… Donald Abrams and Paul Volberding, among the first doctors to study the strange new disease, reflect on the disease. Dr. ABRAMS: As someone who’s not directly involved anymore in the field, I think the challenge is really trying to promulgate the prevention message. … Dr. VOLBERDING: Well, the treatments that we have here for Americans with access to care are really quite good. They’re much more convenient than they used to be, they’re much less toxic than they used to be but they still have drawbacks. And the hope now is that the thought that there might be a possibility of a cure, there’s also still a lot of work to find a vaccine (Lyden, 6/5).”


To read the hear the interview in full, please click here.

Donald Abrams, MD, has been a leader in the effort to develop new treatments for HIV since the disease first emerged.  Most notably, he was a pioneer in the introduction of community-based clinical trials for AIDS therapies as Chairman of the San Francisco Community Consortium, an association of HIV healthcare providers established in 1985.  He was Principal Investigator of the Consortium’s Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS (CPCRA) and was one of the original Investigators in the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG).  A founding member of the Antiviral Advisory Committee of the Food & Drug Administration, Dr. Abrams was also an early member of amfAR’s Scientific Advisory Committee and a founding Editor of the HIV/AIDS Treatment Directory.  He has served as Assistant Director of the AIDS program at San Francisco General Hospital and is a past President of the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association.