Science Catalyzes Social Responsibility

My work in HIV/AIDS was a confluence of many interests and pursuits. There was a great demand for scientists willing to undertake research in the field. There were a great number of people growing sick and dying at the hands of this disease, and someone had to step in to try to make a change. I was one of those. 

I stepped up in part because of my love of science and interest in virology, but additionally, I felt a social responsibility to do my part. I knew I could make a difference in at least one life, so why not try? I desired through much of my training to be able to work on important human problems. This disease affected millions of people, many of which were young and yet to live out their lives. I wanted to help them.

I held a conviction that, despite the disinterest and skepticism at the time of most medical scientists, that we would find human retroviruses that cause cancer and other major diseases. This firmly held belief charged into reality with HIV/AIDS, and I felt I could do my part for those suffering at its hand.

It was crystal clear to me what needed to be done. I had all the background in virology, in chemotherapy, in drug discovery. I understood all of it. HIV was a retrovirus. Certain cancers were retroviruses. We did as much as could be done as fast as anybody could even imagine you could do to develop AIDS treatments. That was a huge success for science and for humanity. 

I continue forward with the same passion and drive in all aspects of my work, and today, specifically towards Covid-19. My knowledge and background may be enough to save at least one life. Because of this, I must put forth every effort to realize positive change in the midst of this global crisis.

This blog is one in a series showcasing some of the stories that are included in my autobiography: My Lifelong Fight Against Disease. Available for purchase here.

© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.