Last Sunday, September 27, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health, released a statement to acknowledge National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and research issues impacting gay men. To read the entire statement, visit the NIAID website.
Gay and bisexual men have been active participants in HIV/AIDS research, including that funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. A good example is the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), the longest U.S. study of people with HIV/AIDS and one of the most rigorous and productive epidemiologic HIV/AIDS studies in history. Gay and bisexual men also have participated in NIAID clinical trials of antiretroviral drugs that were essential to developing life-saving treatments now available to millions of people with HIV.
“Currently, gay and bisexual men are participating in NIAID’s first late-phase trial of a promising new HIV prevention method called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. The idea behind PrEP is that HIV-negative people at high risk of becoming infected with the virus could take antiretroviral medications that may protect them from infection.
“Among men who have sex with men, blacks are suffering from HIV/AIDS in disproportionately large numbers. To curb the spread of HIV in this population, NIAID, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Mental Health, all part of NIH, are conducting a preliminary study through the HIV Prevention Trials Network to evaluate a multi-component intervention in more than 2,000 black men who have sex with men.
“National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day marks a time to honor the memories of those whose lives have been taken by this dreadful disease by recommitting ourselves to research to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS. I thank gay and bisexual men for their activism on behalf of people with HIV/AIDS and their commitment to participating in clinical HIV/AIDS research. We will not rest until we have ended the HIV/AIDS pandemic.