On Friday, May 6, GAIA celebrated our annual Global Citizen Gala at San Francisco landmark, Fort Mason, raising over $300,000 to directly support our work in Malawi.
We had the honor of bestowing the Global Citizen award to GAIA Medical Advisory Board member, Jay A. Levy, MD who co-discovered the HIV virus in 1983 and during the last three decades has dedicated his efforts to understanding the mechanisms of the virus and developing the science that undergirds anti-retroviral therapies. His current studies are focused on the use of immune-based therapies, the development of an effective AIDS vaccine and a cure for HIV infection by stem cell approaches.
Jay’s lifetime body of work makes GAIA’s impact in Malawi possible and his (and wife Sharon’s) own generosity to GAIA over the years has directly funded the care of thousands of rural villagers impacted by HIV and AIDS. Presenter John Greenspan brought congratulatory messages from luminaries in global health including Haile Debas, Paul Volberding, Anthony Fauci, Diane Havlir, and Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation’s Joel Goldman.
I think fellow GAIA Medical Advisory Board, Dr. Michael Gottlieb, sums up Jay’s impact best:
“Jay is a shining star in the HIV/AIDS universe. A brilliant scientist and humanitarian, and a real mensch.”
In closing, here is a very special message of thanks directly from Malawi shared at the gala.