When the history of the AIDS epidemic is written, I hope there will be a chapter on Dr. Robert Grant, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology. Through one landmark study in November 2010, Dr. Grant, 52, changed the way AIDS researchers think about preventing HIV transmission. He and his team showed that gay, HIV-negative men could radically lower their risk of contracting HIV from their sexual partners by taking a combination antiretroviral drug already used to treat people living with the virus.
Later studies showed that this technique could work to prevent HIV transmission among heterosexual men and women too. This not only saves lives but provides a model that could one day halt new infections everywhere. We are in debt to Dr. Grant, who has shown us another way to curb an epidemic that has already claimed 30 million lives.
Cole is the founder of Kenneth Cole Productions and chairman of the board of Amfar, the Foundation for AIDS Research
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