Today is World AIDS Day, Dec. 1. As I write my annual blog, I continue to be energized by a personal passion along with the dedication exhibited by many of my colleagues to make a difference in the global HIV/AIDS community. It may seem odd to say “passion” but it is fitting. My earnestness towards fellow human beings, biotechnology, and innovation partnered and their respective ability to positively impact global health keeps me energized year after year. Again, I mention the bitter sweetness of the 30 years of positive strides I have witnessed in the diagnostic and treatment advances as well as the discouragement that we are still falling a bit behind: 40% of those newly infected with HIV/AIDS continue to be denied basic health services (WHO, NOV.2017) and that 1 in 7 infected in the US still don’t know they are infected (CDC, Nov.2017).
I recently returned from an innovation meeting in S. Africa sponsored by the Bill & Malinda Gates Foundation where I was honored to present the HemaSpot sample collection device to a group of global health leaders. I was truly invigorated by all the innovation shared, the partnerships formed and remain hopeful that progress will continue and that many innovations will play a role along with HemaSpot in meeting the UNAIDS 90:90:90 targets.