Walk to End HIV

Posted by Niveen Mulholland and Nicole Waybright on Oct 20, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Walk_to_End_HIVOn October 24, 2015, nearly 40 Thermo Fisher Scientific employees and their family and friends will take to the streets of Washington, DC to participate in the 2015 Walk to End HIV. Thermo Fisher Scientific is a proud Bronze level sponsor of this event which benefits Whitman-Walker Health, the District’s largest community-based provider of HIV services. The name for the charity walk and 5K run was changed in 2014 from “AIDS Walk” to “Walk to End HIV” to reflect the focus on testing and prevention and to present the cause as one with hope and optimism.

The Thermo Fisher Scientific Walk to End HIV team formed out of the offices of the AIDS Reagent Program (ARP). This government funded program is managed and staffed by Fisher BioServices and has been held by the company since its inception more than 25 years ago. The men and women at ARP work diligently to assist the scientific community in the effort to develop vaccines against HIV, provide better treatments for people living with AIDS and ultimately find a cure for the disease. ARP provides free research reagents to scientists working on HIV/AIDS all over the globe, positively impacting the research programs of over 1,000 different laboratories in 50 different countries.

The AIDS Reagent Program evolved from a small biobank of HIV research materials into a unique worldwide resource of state-of-the art reagents for HIV research. Many of these reagents are not commercially available. Since the publication of the first catalog in 1988, listing 62 reagents from 20 contributors, the AIDS Reagent Program has grown significantly. We currently offer over 2000 reagents from hundreds of contributors. The ARP has been cited in over 8000 scientific journal articles as a source for materials required to conduct the published research. In addition to providing critical research reagents, ARP strives to serve as an information resource for scientists, a liaison for communication in establishing partnerships, and a provider of technical assistance on handling and shipping infectious substances.

Numerous other programs at Thermo Fisher Scientific support global health efforts to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In 2014, for example, the company teamed up with other organizations including the CDC to bring a rapid and cost-effective PCR-based method of monitoring HIV drug resistance to resource-limited countries. Fisher Scientific, a brand of Thermo Fisher Scientific, provides support for programs such as PEPFAR, UNICEF and GFATM  through the Laboratory Equipment, Supplies and Consumables catalog developed specifically for Global Health Initiatives. The corporate mission of Thermo Fisher Scientific is to provide technologies, products and services that enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer.

Right now in Washington, D.C., nearly 1 in 20 residents are living with HIV. If our nation’s capital were a country, we'd rank No. 23 among the Top 50 countries with the largest rates of HIV infection. Maryland ranks number 1 among states. The Center for Disease Control statistics are certainly a sobering reality for our community. We never know who is struggling; whether it is with the fear of getting tested or the stigma of a positive diagnosis. That’s why it’s so important that we band together to make a difference. Every person, and every dollar donated, helps end HIV. Register to attend and enjoy a beautiful fall day in our nation’s capital and take a powerful stand against HIV and AIDS. Unable to attend but still interested in supporting a great cause? Click here to visit our team page and make a donation!

To learn more about how we developed a qualified cold chain solution to transport vaccines to Uganda and contain the Ebola outbreak in 2014, download our Case Study below.

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