Dr. Paul Stoffels reports on progress in fighting AIDS
Dr. Paul Stoffels has spent much of his career fighting AIDS. He is the Chief Scientific Officer of Johnson & Johnson, who started his career working in Africa, researching the mysterious and frightening disease that would soon become known as AIDS.
From our interview, Dr Stoffels:
“One of my best friends, a doctor was infected with HIV when I was in Africa back in ’87. He was my best friend and I worked my whole life to try to save him and keep him alive and it worked, he’s still alive today. He was a research object but also the happy recipient of new medicines. He had his own kids then, 6 and 7 years old, when we were in Africa. Today, he has grandkids. We would have never, ever believed that he would even reach 1990.”
His key message today on World AIDS Day 2016:
Complacency at the moment is the biggest enemy in HIV. The world thinks it’s under control. The drugs are there, the drugs are cheap. That’s not how we should think. We have a big task at hand in order to prevent tens and tens of millions of people who are still going to be infected. They all will need treatment, not for 5 years but for 30 years. Everyone infected today needs treatment that will mean every day one pill for 30, 40 years for tens of millions of people. It’s a big task.
Visit jnj.com/HIV to see additional stories of progress and hope as we reflect on World AIDS Day 2016.