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PASSAGES Mathilde Krim, pioneer in fight against HIV/AIDS, dies at 91
2018-01-16

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Dr. Mathilde Krim, a pioneer in the battle against HIV/AIDS, passed away Jan. 15 at age 91, according to NewNowNext.com .

The cause of death is currently unknown.

In 1983, Krim founded the AIDS Medical Foundation (AMF), the first private organization dedicated to AIDS research. In 1985, AMF merged with a like-minded California-based group to form the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), which is involved in mobilizing funds for clinical trials, AIDS prevention and public policy.

Krim was amfAR's founding chair and was, from 1990—2004, the chairman of the board, according to amfAR's website. In August 2000, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the highest civilian honor in the United States.

amfAR emailed a statement to Windy City Times about Krim's passing: "The board of trustees and staff of amfAR mourn the passing of our beloved Founding Chairman, Mathilde Krim, Ph.D. A pioneer in AIDS research and activism, Dr. Krim was at the forefront of scientific and philanthropic responses to HIV/AIDS long before the world fully understood its catastrophic global reach.

"As amfAR's founding chairman, and chairman of the board from 1990 to 2004, she was the heart and soul of the organization. She helped create it, supported it, kept it afloat more than once, and guided it with extraordinary dedication. She testified on Capitol Hill on several occasions, and was a driving force behind legislation that expanded access to lifesaving treatment and behind efforts to scale up federal funding for AIDS research. In August 2000, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the highest civilian honor in the United States.

"Dr. Krim had such a profound impact on the lives of so many. While we all feel a penetrating sadness at the loss of someone we loved so deeply, it is important to remember how much she gave us and the millions for whom she dedicated her life. There is joy to be found in knowing that so many people alive today literally owe their lives to this great woman."

Jeff Berry, director of publications for local HIV/AIDS agency TPAN, told Windy City Times, "I never met Dr. Krim, but first learned about her within the pages of Positively Aware [PA] magazine, where I was volunteering at the time. Among other things, she was an ardent and early supporter of needle exchange programs to help stop the spread of HIV.

"In PA's coverage of the 1992 International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, Dr. Krim announced amfAR's expansion of its funding for needle exchange programs, stating, 'We have overwhelming data to show that needle exchange programs reduce the spread of HIV among injection drug users and, consequently, their sexual partners and children.' Her efforts to lead the way saved countless lives of people living with and vulnerable to HIV."

The NewNowNext item is at NewNowNext.com/mathilde-krim-dead/01/2018/ .


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