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Profiles in Advocacy: AIDS Research Institute, working to end HIV

It occurred to me that it was time to write about the nonprofit for which I work: the AIDS Research Institute (ARI). Founded in 1997, the ARI is the Organized Research Unit (ORU) of UC San Diego that both links the many HIV/AIDS programs at the university together as well as provides a bridge between those programs and the larger community.

The programs include, but are not limited to, the AntiViral Research Center (AVRC), Mother and Child Adolescent Program (MCAP), Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), Owen Clinic, HIV Neurobehavioral Research Program (HNRP) and HIV/AIDS projects through Global Public Health.

In the United States, the men who have sex with men (MSM) population is still the most disproportionately affected demographic for new HIV transmissions, so the research being done by these various programs affects the LBGT population in a very real way. In a 2008 study of HIV/AIDS programs, the UCSD programs were among the top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded programs in the country, second only to Harvard in the category of universities.

Additionally, ARI Director Dr. Douglas Richman was shown to be the most cited HIV author in the world, which brings me to an important focus of this column: the individuals that are creating change in the world through their tireless work.

Read the full column HERE in Gay San Diego, a media partner of SDGLN.