Seth Berkley
President, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
01:17

How Can People Help?

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Go into a community and get a group engaged.

Seth Berkley

Seth Berkley, President and founder of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, is a medical doctor specializing in infectious disease epidemiology and international health. The author of over 85 publications, the opening line of one of his articles encapsulates his life's work: "History will not judge HIV/AIDS kindly...the harshest words will be reserved for how the world responded, or rather failed to respond, to the epidemic."

Prior to founding IAVI in 1996, Dr. Berkley was the Associate Director of the Health Sciences Division at The Rockefeller Foundation. Dr. Berkley is also an adjunct Professor of Public Health at Columbia University and an adjunct Professor of Medicine at Brown University. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Brown University and trained in Internal Medicine at Harvard University. He has worked for the Center for Infectious Diseases of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and for the Carter Center, where he was assigned as an epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health in Uganda. He sits on a number of international steering committees and corporate and not-for-profit boards and has consulted or worked in over 25 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

He is also an opinion leader, speaking frequently on health technology, development, AIDS and international health. In his words, "It is long past due to add HIV/AIDS to the list" of eradicated diseases.

Prior to founding IAVI in 1996, Dr. Berkley was the Associate Director of the Health Sciences Division at The Rockefeller Foundation. Dr. Berkley is also an adjunct Professor of Public Health at Columbia University and an adjunct Professor of Medicine at Brown University. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Brown University and trained in Internal Medicine at Harvard University. He has worked for the Center for Infectious Diseases of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and for the Carter Center, where he was assigned as an epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health in Uganda. He sits on a number of international steering committees and corporate and not-for-profit boards and has consulted or worked in over 25 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

He is also an opinion leader, speaking frequently on health technology, development, AIDS and international health. In his words, "It is long past due to add HIV/AIDS to the list" of eradicated diseases.

Transcript

Seth Berkley:  When we come into a new community, the question is who can help us do this research. We’re trying to do both clinical trials but we’re also trying to work in countries that have research capabilities as well. We just launched a program in India for example with medicinal chemists. Who are medicinal chemists? They’re the chemists who worked in these large generic manufacturers who used to try to figure out how to make drugs off patent cheaply. There are a lot of them in India. They’re fabulous scientists. We got a group of them together and said could you help us try to solve some of these problems on HIV and put a lot of people power into trying to solve it in a way that we might not be able to afford to do it in another place. On the trial side going into a community and getting a group engaged, developing the trust, having them understand that we’re there to work with them, that if we succeed with the vaccine, that it will be made available to the communities, that this will have effects for them and for the whole world, and again, making sure that it is not seen as an exploitive phenomena. It’s absolutely critical in trying to build those relationships.


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