It was the early 1980s when scientists recognized the first cases of AIDS in the United States. I lost some friends to the disease, and if you are old enough to remember, then perhaps you did too.
In 1995, a Fort Lauderdale chemist by the name of Richard Campbell Zahn died from complications from AIDS.
The proceeds from the sale of his company -- which made a lip balm for the treatment of cold sores and fever blisters -- were used to start The Campbell Foundation. This year, the Fort Lauderdale-based foundation celebrates 20 years of funding innovative research into finding a cure for HIV/AIDS.
One of the greatest challenges for researchers has been trying to find a way for medications that treat the disease to cross the blood-brain barrier. HIV meds need to cross the blood-brain barrier if they are to fight viral reservoirs in the central nervous system and brain as well as alleviate HIV-related neurological issues. These symptoms include dementia and neuropathy in addition to psychological conditions such as depression.
The foundation has twice funded researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel where they are making great strides in the battle. POZ wrote about its latest grant and what it means to the battle against this deadly disease.
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