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Arthur J. Ammann
Purpose Prize Fellow 2011
Ammann saves the lives of women and children in the world’s most dangerous and poorest countries through HIV prevention, treatment and care.
In 1982, when pediatric immunologist Arthur Ammann documented the first known cases of AIDS transmission from mothers to infants, little was known about the disease. Today, more than two dozen drugs treat those infected by HIV, especially in wealthier countries. In resource-poor regions, however, the AIDS epidemic rages on, with particularly devastating effects on women and children. “I knew I had the resources to do something more,” Ammann says. “Medical advances had slowed the HIV epidemic in the U.S. but did not have a perceptible impact in developing countries where there were 3 million to 5 million new infections each year.”
To address this need, Ammann left his position as president of the American Foundation for AIDS Research in 1998 to launch Global Strategies for HIV Prevention. In the past 13 years the organization has raised $22 million for HIV prevention, trained 5,500 health care workers and given drugs or HIV testing kits to 85,000 women in countries such as the Republic of Congo, Liberia, South Africa, Cambodia and the Dominican Republic. It also partners with lawyers and advocates to address gender inequality and rape — two root causes of HIV transmission.”We must control this epidemic through HIV prevention,” says Ammann. “The cost of treatment is unaffordable and the loss of lives unacceptable.”