By David Welch, President/Senior Producer at M2 MultiMedia
When the HIV/AIDS epidemic became widely known in the early 1980s I lived in San Francisco. I lost many dear friends during those years. That made working on “HIV/AIDS and Biotechnology” very personal to me.
Thirty years later and despite an all-too-common public perception that this terrible disease has been solved, the research to find a vaccine is actually more important than ever. The sad truth is that the cost in both human lives and economic treasure remains astronomical.
Producing this short film for BIO about the role of biotechnology in the on-going fight to save lives and dollars brought me face-to-face with three awesome individuals: a researcher, a patient, and an advocate. The researcher is Dr. David Asmuth, one of the world’s leading HIV experts. The patient, Brian Brown, received VACC-4X, a biotech vaccine produced by Bionor Pharma, in a clinical trial and went a full 18 months without anti-retroviral treatments. The advocate is Stephen Bailous, executive vice president of the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) — he’s also an HIV survivor.
Together, these three men send a compelling message to all of us: If we are to conquer HIV/AIDS the necessity to fund sustained biotechnology research has never been more vital and more hopeful.
I wish to thank our entire team, especially our director Emily Deckelman, for their commitment to producing this important video.