St. Petersburg Times Profiles Haitian HIV/AIDS Researcher Jean Pape
The St. Petersburg Times on Dec. 26 profiled Dr. Jean Pape, a Cornell University professor and director of the Haitian Study Group on Kaposi's Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infection, or GHESKIO -- one of the world's oldest HIV/AIDS research facilities. Pape "is considered one of the world's leading AIDS authorities," who has "quietly dedicated ... many years to improving living conditions in a country that often confounds the best intentions," according to the Times. Pape's contributions to the field include persuading the Haitian Ministry of Health to end unregulated commercial blood banks; expanding funding, laboratory capacity and clinical testing and counseling for people with HIV/AIDS in Haiti; and delivering a briefing to the Bush administration on the effectiveness and importance of antiretroviral therapy in preparation for the five-year, $15 billion President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief initiative. With support from the United States and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Pape intends to build 100 counseling and treatment sites in Haiti. In addition, GHESKIO is planning U.S.-funded clinical trials for an experimental HIV/AIDS vaccine produced by Merck. Despite "worsening political and economic conditions" in Haiti, Pape has been successful by establishing "a network of warehouses stocked with drugs," dividing the nation's population into sections and giving some HIV-positive Haitian residents phone cards to use to gain access to HIV medications, according to the Times. Pape's advancements have been "especially noteworthy given the extraordinary resources he has brought to bear in one of the most challenging fields of medical research," the Times reports (Adams, St. Petersburg Times, 12/26/04).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.