A Hero for Science, Patients, and the World: Dr. Mathilde Krim Dies at 91

As immortalized in Larry Kramer’s play, The Normal Heart, Dr. Mathilde Krim made a difference for millions by raising awareness and working towards funding research for the early HIV epidemic in the 1980’s.  To date, HIV has killed over 39 million people around the globe. Dr. Krim, a geneticist and virologist with significant credentials, faced the HIV virus head-on and defended the civil rights of the people who had it before it was popular to do so.  Today, thanks to her and others, with early treatment, those affected can usually have a normal life expectancy.

Among many achievements, Dr. Krim created amfAR, the American Foundation for AIDs Research. She succeeded in convincing Elizabeth Taylor to be its founding international chairwoman, which enabled $517 million for thousands of programs to be funded.  Many people are alive today because of the work she did in funding research and educating the public. Krim fought for people affected by the virus to be cared for and not stigmatized.  She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, awarded by President Clinton in 2000 – which recognized her “extraordinary compassion and commitment.”

Krim is a role model for those who believe a person can achieve both academic success and impact society in general.  She was a tireless pioneer, struggling to innovate while never forgetting to respect those affected by HIV. May Dr. Krim rest in peace. Let’s honor her for the incredible difference she made to people everywhere today. Because of her tireless efforts to develop effective medications, many people are alive today and there are even treatments that prevent HIV transmission.  In recent years, thanks to President George W. Bush and many others, maternal to fetal transmission of HIV has approached zero levels in Africa.

Thanks to early public health warriors like Mathilde Krim and Larry Kramer, today HIV transmission can be prevented in many cases and people with the virus can often live a normal life.


Enjoy your day.



Mathilde Krim Dies at 91; AIDS Research Crusader And Patients’ Champion

By Robert D. McFadden, New York Times, Obituaries, January 17, 2018.

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