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|‘Uncork a Cure’ so ARCA can keep fighting HIV|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|April 15, 2011 00:00|
The AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta is one of the leading HIV/AIDS research facilities in the nation and is at the forefront of conducting clinical drug trials in the treatment and prevention of the disease.
Dr. Melanie Thompson, ARCA’s founder and principal investigator, says the nonprofit is currently undertaking new studies, including research on drugs not licensed yet for HIV, a drug for lowering cholesterol for those with HIV, a Hepatitis C study and a new research program set to be rolled out soon for African-American men who have sex with men. Another study deals with a single pill that combines three drugs for those who have never taken HIV medicines.
ARCA was also selected last year as the only site for the first therapeutic trial ever conducted using an HIV vaccine candidate from GeoVax. GeoVax vaccines are being studied for HIV prevention, but ARCA is the only facility using the same products for treatment of HIV positive people.
ARCA receives federal money for its research and some money from pharmaceutical companies for specific research, but not enough money to cover general operating expenses, Thompson said.
That’s why it’s important to hold fundraisers. ARCA’s largest fundraiser, Uncork A Cure, is set for April 28 at The Foundry at Puritan Mill. The event is “critical” in ensuring ARCA’s future, Thompson said.
“The money raised all goes to support our research. Having the support of unrestricted funds is needed for the critical infrastructure support for our clinical trials,” Thompson said.
This year marks the 21st annual Uncork A Cure event. It is expected to draw more than 700 people. Distributors and restaurants donate all the wine and food, so the money raised can go back to fully support ARCA’s mission.
The event includes a silent auction and this year for the first time a live auction. There will also be a red carpet with photographers taking pictures as people arrive. This year’s emcee is India Hines of AM 1570 WIGO.
Money raised from Uncork A Cure also goes to fund ARCA’s free HIV testing program.
“This is a terrific night for wine and food and it’s all for good cause,” Thompson said.
Top photo: Wine and food are on tap for ARCA’s Uncork a Cure fundraiser. (by Dyana Bagby)
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