Dr. Anthony S. Fauci Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases was honored by President George W. Bush
with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony
Balintfy: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was honored by President George W. Bush with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony recently. Dr. Fauci explains what it means to him to receive the award.
Fauci: Well it's an extraordinary experience and an extraordinary honor. It's actually quite humbling when you think of the fact that your life's work has been publicly honored by the President of the United States and a medal that's given to people. When you look at the track record and the history of the people who have gotten the Medal of Freedom, it really is very humbling. It also reminds me that despite all that we've accomplished with HIV, which is the primary reason for my getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom, it also reminds you about how much more we need to do.
Balintfy: Dr. Fauci, a leading physician-scientist and research administrator, has made many contributions to the understanding and treatment of infectious diseases, and oversees an extensive research portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat such conditions. He adds that there is still the challenge of developing a vaccine for HIV.
Fauci: We've been quite successful in developing a whole menu of drugs that have proven to be very effective in controlling HIV infection in people who are already infected. But we know just from the numbers of the numbers of new infections each year—in the world there are 2.5 million new infections each year—and yet from every one person that we put on therapy, two to three people get newly infected. So although there's great successes with therapy, numerically you're losing the game if you continue to have so many additional people getting infected. So prevention looms large as a real major challenge, and the scientific aspect of that is developing a vaccine, and vaccine has been very elusive over the last many years for a number of reasons. Most importantly, that HIV is really quite different.Balintfy: Dr. Fauci explains that HIV is different from any other virus because the body does not seem to naturally make a good protective immune response against it. For more information on HIV vaccine research and Dr. Fauci's Presidential Medal of Freedom award, visit http://www.niaid.nih.gov. This is Joe Balintfy, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Joe Balintfy
Sound Bite: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, NIAID
Topic: HIV, AIDS, Fauci, Presidential Medal, award