The HIV community has reacted with shock and sadness to news that Mark Wainberg, Ph.D., died on April 12. Wainberg, a former president of the International AIDS Society and the Canadian Association for AIDS Research, was a leading figure in the global community of HIV care providers, and had been at the forefront of HIV research since the 1980s. An obituary on Medscape summarizes many of Wainberg's most notable achievements.
Below are excerpts from several organizations that have released statements on Wainberg's passing, as well as community leaders who have posted thoughts and remembrances. We will continue to update this article with additional statements and posts.
From International AIDS Society (IAS) president Linda-Gail Bekker:
We have lost one of our fiercest champions. To those of us in the research community, he was the epitome of dedication from the earliest days of the response. The impact of his work both through and beyond his role with the IAS will live on through the millions of people accessing HIV treatment and those of us who were lucky enough to know him.
From UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé:
Mark Wainberg was a giant in HIV science. His work contributed to saving millions of lives. UNAIDS and the millions of people living with HIV will mourn Mark Wainberg’s passing and celebrate the huge contribution to the response to HIV he made in his life.
From HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) chair Wendy Armstrong:
He consistently pushed the boundaries of conventional thought whether he was advocating for new treatment paradigms or universal and equitable access to medications for all those with living with HIV across the globe.
From Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE):
Despite his long hours, awards and endless travel to scientific meetings and congresses, he was always friendly and warm and made himself accessible to everyone. Dr. Wainberg’s absence has touched many of us and his drive to build and maintain alliances between governments, public health, scientists and community groups is an important part of his legacy.
From British HIV Association (BHIVA):
Much of his work, particularly related to HIV resistance, shaped our practice and contributed to the incredible patient outcomes we enjoy today. ... The death of this pioneering man is a true loss to the HIV community.
From Brigham and Women's Hospital HIV Program director Paul Sax, M.D.:
We will very much miss Dr. Mark Wainberg. His legacy lives on with the people he trained, his extraordinarily productive research career, the expansion of HIV treatment globally -- and with the miraculous drug 3TC.
Several prominent members of the HIV workforce shared their thoughts via social media.
Myles Helfand is the editorial director of TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com. Follow Myles on Twitter: @MylesatTheBody.
Ken Stockwell is senior web producer for TheBody.com.