Mark Wainberg: a big name in the fight against HIV has left us

The world-renowned scientist from Montreal, Mark Wainberg, died in April at the age of 71.

Since the early 1980s, he was actively involved in the fight against HIV/Aids and he made it his fight. He not only devoted his scientific and medical career to it, but also became one of the pioneers of the defence of the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS and of the most affected communities, at a time when the subject was taboo and unpopular.

Dr Wainberg is known in particular for discovering the anti-viral medication, 3TC, in 1989. This was one of the very first effective molecules against HIV. The 3TC helped to change the course of the illness and is still widely used in tri-therapies, thanks to which the infection has become a chronic illness.

Mark Wainberg is also famous for his multiple contributions regarding the virus’ resistance to medicines. With his team, he worked to enhance understanding of the mechanisms and genetic mutations of the virus, and to find ways to counter them.

Dr. Wainberg, who was close to the Quebec anti-AIDS milieu and the Farha Foundation in particular, stated in 2000, during an interview with the McGill Reporter: “It is incumbent upon us all to be AIDS activists”. A fervent militant for access for all to medication, he is one of the people who enabled marginalized populations and poor countries, especially in Africa, to benefit from the results of research on HIV/AIDS.

Source : Radio-Canada
Yanick Villedieu – April 4, 2017

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