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December 1, 2010

On World AIDS Day, activists renew push for a cure

WHYY, Philadelphia: "Last year, the AIDS Policy Project launched a campaign to get more money to fund research for a cure. Kate Krauss, executive director of the project, said she was surprised to learn that very little money was available -- she estimates only 3 percent of the AIDS budget at the National Institutes of Health goes toward finding a cure. But, she said, the research that is happening is promising.

"'So, it's actually a really exciting time, a pivotal time. And it's a question of whether this epidemic ... what we do now, is going to determine whether this epidemic lasts for five or 10 years, or whether it lasts 30 or 40 years,' she said. 'Can we break down these research obstacles? Can we get researchers new money?'

"Krauss, who launched a letter-writing campaign out of her home in West Philadelphia, wants to quadruple the funding that the NIH directs toward finding a cure. Her work has garnered national attention from advocates and researchers.

"'This has not escalated into a demand for a cure, or research for a cure,' said Larry Kramer, the founder of ACT-UP, an activist group that has pushed for AIDS prevention and treatment since 1988. 'And what this group from Philadelphia has done on their own is to reignite this issue and try and run with it.'"