HIV/AIDS Pioneer Mark Wainberg Died Suddenly
Trailblazing Canadian HIV/AIDS researcher and social activist Mark Wainberg, Ph.D., unexpectedly died April 12 at age 71. Dr. Wainberg sank in a swimming incident in Bal Harbour near Miami, Florida. Dr. Wainberg was a strong and vocal advocate for people with AIDS and championed providing AIDS-related relief to developing countries. He was critical of politicians who ignore the problem of AIDS, including former South African President Thabo Mbeki.
Dr. Wainberg's was with his family, and his son attempted to rescue him, according to Montreal Gazette report citing comments from Bal Harbour Acting Police Chief Miguel De La Rose. His son brought him to shore, where police and first responders performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He was delivered to the hospital where he was declared dead.
Dr. Mark Wainberg, 71, was the director of the McGill University AIDS Centre at the Jewish General Hospital. He also was past president of the International AIDS Society and the world-recognized leader in the fight against AIDS.
Dr. Wainberg and his co-authors were the first to recognize the antiviral capabilities of 3TC (lamivudine) in 1989. He was also remembered for the HIV Genome mutations identification. These mutations are assumed to fuel ART drug resistance.
Dr. Wainberg also has been attempted to achieve a cure for HIV infection. His efforts were based on the feasibility that HIV may not be able to become resistant to integrase inhibitors that block viral replication.
At the time of his passing, Dr Wainberg was editor-in-chief of the Journal of the International AIDS Society and editor of Retrovirology. He also served as editor for several other publications, including the Journal of Human Virology, the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, International Antiviral News, AIDS Patient Care and STDs, the Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases, and AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.
In 2000, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and in 2008, he was named a Chevalier de Légion d'honneur, the highest honor given by France.
Dr Wainberg was a strong and vocal advocate for people with AIDS and championed providing AIDS-related relief to developing countries. He was critical of politicians who ignore the problem of AIDS, including former South African President Thabo Mbeki.
Dr. Wainberg also opposed "AIDS denialism." In an interview in 2004, he proposed that those who harm others by publicly questioning HIV as the cause of AIDS should be charged with endangerment of public health and be jailed if convicted of the crime.
"Dr. Wainberg's research and that of his colleagues is acknowledged as having helped to save millions of lives around the world," The Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research at the Montreal Jewish General Hospital says on its website.