We’re all familiar with superheroes defeating villains in comic books and movies, but there are real people with superpowers that walk among us everyday. These people, known as HIV Controllers, are able to successfully fight the HIV virus in their own bodies, while living normal, healthy lives.
The HIV Controller power is a very rare one. Only one in 300 people have this ability, but we all might have this power in the near future. By studying HIV Controllers, The Immunity Project is attempting to develop a vaccine that will protect non-infected people from the deadly disease.
The Immunity Project has analyzed blood samples from HIV controllers to see how they are successfully fighting off HIV. With this information, they have developed a vaccine that they hope will train regular people’s immune systems to be able to do the same thing.
The Immunity Project is promising to give their vaccine to the world for free if they are successful. First, they need to raise 20 million dollars to do testing in the US and South Africa. They are seeking to raise this money from regular people like you and me using crowdfunding. They’ve chosen this unusual funding strategy because many investors aren’t interested in a one time treatment for HIV.
While pharmaceutical companies do a lot of good for the world, many of their choices are influenced by profits over people. In 2012, pharmaceutical companies made 83.9 billion dollars in profit. Much of these profits were made from drugs for heart disease, high blood pressure, and depression. These are the kind of problems that are life-long problems, which means life-long medication and life-long profits.
If the immunity project vaccine is successful, it will be a one time treatment and it will be free. Over 35 million people around the world have HIV and every day, 4,000 people die from AIDS. For as little as $10 you can help the Immunity Project create a free solution to this world-wide problem.
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