Contact: Emma Brownell / AIDS Research Alliance
LOS ANGELES, February 13, 2013 – AIDS Research Alliance (ARA) is pleased to announce that with We-Care.com’s generous support, it will be able to conduct the eight leukapheresis experiments necessary for the advancement of its promising HIV cure research. ARA was featured as We-Care.com’s Cause of the Month in December 2012. While We-Care.com users typically choose one favorite cause to support with their online shopping, the Cause of the Month campaign introduces undecided users to a particular cause, to show users how easy it is to incorporate philanthropy into everyday shopping. The response during the December campaign was positive as thousands of We-Care.com users chose to participate and earn donations for ARA as they shopped, booked travel, and searched online – at no extra cost to them. Due to the support of We-Care.com’s users, the bustling holiday season, and generous merchants such as Macy’s, Travelocity, Lands’ End, and thousands more, the Cause of the Month campaign was able to generate $38,255.17 in micro-donations, enough to complete the next stage of prostratin research.
“In honor of World AIDS Day, and a strong partnership with the organization, We-Care.com chose AIDS Research Alliance as December’s Cause of the Month,” explained Gina Navani, Director of Operations at We-Care.com. “Since the opportunity provides undecided We-Care.com users with basic information about the organization and encourages additional support, the company grew excited about the possibility of collaborating with its users and merchants to support ARA’s prostratin research project.”
Prostratin, ARA’s cure strategy, is a promising drug candidate that could expose latent HIV in cell reservoirs. In an HIV-positive body, the virus hides in reservoirs, inhibiting the effectiveness of current drug therapies. A persistent obstacle in curing HIV/AIDS is drawing the virus out of these reservoirs to rid the body of the virus. ARA’s Medical Director, Dr. Stephen Brown, explained, “The leukapheresis experiments will allow ARA researchers to assess prostratin’s effectiveness as a therapy to eradicate HIV, allowing researchers to extract white blood cells from blood samples. Researchers are unable to obtain enough white blood cells from a blood draw, but with leukapheresis, white blood cells can be taken from blood and the red cells and plasma can be returned into the patient.”
The We-Care.com donations will allow ARA to advance its prostratin research, moving the world closer to a cure, and the dream of an AIDS-free generation.
We-Care.com allows its users to donate a percentage of their online shopping, travel booking, and searches to the nonprofit, school, or association of their choice, at no cost to them. To date, over $4.6 million has been raised for We-Care.com’s nonprofit partners.
AIDS Research Alliance is a nonprofit, medical research organization dedicated to finding a cure for AIDS. Since 1989, AIDS Research Alliance has conducted clinical trials leading to the approval of half of today’s HIV/AIDS treatments. Its current research targeting latent HIV reservoirs, including the development of prostratin, will bring the world closer to a cure. AIDS Research Alliance is also at the forefront of infection prevention as a member of the federal HIV Vaccine Trials Network. Free from political or profit motives, AIDS Research Alliance offers clinical trial volunteers access to the next generation of HIV/AIDS treatments and vaccines at its world-class clinic in downtown Los Angeles, and in this way, pursues all pathways to the worldwide eradication of HIV/AIDS. For more information, visit www.aidsresearch.org.