One can argue that we would not be where we are today in the fight against HIV/AIDS if it weren’t for the pioneering work of Mathilde Krim. Before the deadly disease was in the collective conscience of the world, Krim was busy raising much-needed funds to both combat the disease and raise awareness. Dr. Krim passed away at the age of 91 in New York.
Working as a geneticist and virologist, Dr. Krim quickly became a go-to person in the fight against the disease who saw it not only as a killer, but also as a civil rights issue.
According to the amazing tribute from the NYTimes: “Over the next several decades, she became America’s foremost warrior in the battle against superstitions, fears and prejudices that have stigmatized many people with AIDS, subjecting them to rejection and discrimination. There is still no cure for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, which has become pandemic, although antiretroviral medication can slow the disease and may lead to near-normal life expectancy with prompt diagnosis and treatment.
In 2016, there were more than 36.7 million people, worldwide, infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, or H.I.V., which causes AIDS. That was 300,000 fewer than in 2015, but the cases nevertheless resulted in one million deaths, down from a peak of 1.9 million in 2005.”