President Barack Obama announced this week, as part of World AIDS Day, that $100 million will be donated in AIDS cure research.
"It's incredibly exciting, no doubt," said Ethan Smith Cox, development director of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. "Anyone who is part of this fight against HIV and AIDS is excited about news, where we are going to be looking even more aggressively for a cure."
Although much progress has been made in the fight against HIV and AIDS, there is still no cure, and there are 2500 people living with HIV in Pima County alone, Cox said.
SAAF, which emerged in 1997 and is now one of the largest nonprofit consolidations in the history of Pima County, currently serves about 1200 people, as well as their immediate family members, he said.
“We have seen a lot of the immediacy of the disease go away,” Cox said. “It has become a more manageable disease for a lot of people. It is a manageable disease in a lot of ways but it is still a disease that you don’t want to get, and that’s the bottom line for us.”
SAAF continuously works to aid people in avoiding an HIV infection, and empowering people who do live with the virus to lead a healthy and productive life.
“We work everyday to put our own selves out of business, that’s really our goal," Cox said.