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Science Alone Can't Create a Just World

I often talk about what it was like testing HIV-positive in 1992, when the only treatment available was AZT. Today, I consider the bounty of treatments available and the many more in development. I think of what science has done for me, this field, and for so many others like me. Yet science alone can’t create a just world. In its purest form, science can be cold, calculated, and simply focused on what can be proven true or false. Science has delivered both cures and bombs, has been used for both good and bad. While science has the potential to fix much of what ails us — it won’t work for the advancement of us all without being firmly steeped in and led by our values.

We live in a country where HIV is experienced as a disease of disparities — often impacting those most marginalized in our country, be it by race, gender, sexuality, or economic status. And while science has delivered the tools to end this epidemic, at AIDS United we know that our values must frame and guide an evidence- informed approach and always serve as our North Star.

Core to our values at AIDS United are the belief that the swiftest end to this disease of disparities requires a strong social justice framework, a hunger for innovation, a commitment to the meaningful involvement of people living with HIV, and a push for true and meaningful collaboration. Our values not only guide our programs, but our management as well. At AIDS United, our values ensure efficient and effective use of resources with over 93 cents of every dollar spent directly on programs.

I encourage you to learn more about the values that guide our work in our annual report, Following Our True North: The Values that Guide Our Work. The report is dedicated to sharing our values with you, including the value of transparency. An accounting of the resources we garner, the results we achieve, and the ways in which we do our work. 

With Solidarity,


Posted By: Michael Kaplan, President & CEO, AIDS United - Tuesday, June 28, 2016

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