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The Global Fund congratulates Nobel Medicine Prize winners

07 October 2008

Statement by the Executive Director of the Global Fund, Dr Michel Kazatchkine

Geneva – The Global Fund today warmly welcomes the announcement by the Nobel Foundation that France's Francoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier will share the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS.

In its citation, the Nobel Foundation said that “Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier’s discovery of HIV and their efforts in fighting the pandemic led to new methods to diagnose infected patients and to screen blood products which has limited the spread of the pandemic and also led to new treatments.”

“Many people living with the disease across the world are alive because of the groundbreaking work of Dr Barré-Sinoussi and Dr Montagnier,” said Dr Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Their discovery has changed the face of the disease in rich and poor countries alike. This award is great news for all those who are now working to expand access to prevention and treatment in the poorest countries of the world. I warmly congratulate them both on a very well-deserved honour.”

Francoise Barré-Sinoussi, born in 1947, holds a PhD in virology and heads the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Unit at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Luc Montagnier was born in 1932 and is Director at the World Foundation for Aids Research and Prevention.

Together the two researchers share this year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine with German scientist Harald zur Hausen, who discovered the cause of cervical cancer.

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