amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

From the Director: Focusing on the Next Generation


A Sohn
Annette Sohn, M.D.

July 2009– Medical training is a step-by-step process. Students encouraged by their professors move up in stages, perhaps one day becoming professors themselves. For young doctors, however, this process of establishing themselves in the profession can be daunting.

Almost every field within medicine strives to recruit the most talented students and train them to become leaders in research and clinical care. HIV medicine is no different. But in Asia it is not always easy to find doctors who are willing to dedicate their time and careers to treating a patient population that is largely poor, socially stigmatized, and suffers from a presently incurable disease. TREAT Asia has been considering how to encourage young investigators who have demonstrated an interest in HIV to remain committed to HIV research and patient care. This year is our first attempt to address this by offering targeted trainings and creating opportunities for junior-level doctors to play a greater role in the research we conduct. We examine these new programs in this issue.

This July, our new MSM program coordinator, Hua Boonyapisomparn, will become the first openly transgender person to give a plenary presentation at the International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific. In this issue we highlight her work with the Purple Sky Network and her history of advocating for transgender rights. For TREAT Asia, bringing advocacy to the forefront of our community program also means that the TREAT Asia Report  will continue to present current research information that we think will be of interest to the HIV community.

Finally, we are honored to feature an interview with Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund.  His thoughts about HIV prevention and treatment in Asia reflect a lifelong commitment to international public health and a deep knowledge of the epidemic's direction in Asia.

As always, we thank our partners and network members for their support of our continually evolving and growing programs.

A Sohn signature
Annette Sohn, M.D.
Director, TREAT Asia