World AIDS Day: Lifelong fight to find a cure for AIDS, Kevin Robert Frost
Kevin Robert Frost joins Purposely Podcast to share his very personal leadership story in the fight against HIV.
Kevin has been the CEO of amfAR, The American Foundation for AIDS Research, since 2007, first joining the organisation in September 1994. Kevin is fully committed to the work he does, and vividly remembers the dark days when people were dying in large numbers from AIDS in New York and other parts of the world. Kevin personally knew some of these men and still remembers the horrible stigma caused by fear and bigotry.
Fast forward to today and an HIV diagnosis is less likely to be a death sentence thanks to organisations like amfAR and committed, passionate leaders like Kevin. People diagnosed with HIV are less likely to suffer thanks to combination therapies, preventative medicine, and different attitudes towards sexuality. Kevin does stress, however, that things have not changed for everyone and unfortunately in many countries HIV and homophobia can still mean a death sentence.
Kevin talks openly about his own journey and why he decided to do something meaningful to fight AIDS and give hope to people diagnosed with HIV. He also discusses his parent’s reaction to his mission and about coming out as a gay man.
We talk about the current Coronavirus pandemic and Kevin’s frustration that lessons learnt from the fight against HIV have not saved the world from more pain and suffering. Kevin’s sense of mission is incredibly strong, and you can hear his passion and commitment for his life’s work over three decades.
Kevin’s amazing career includes:
- February 2010, appointed by President Obama to the Presidential Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), which is charged with providing guidance and recommendations to the administration on the U.S. government's domestic and international HIV/AIDS prevention and research programs.
- Served as a member of the international advisory committee for the XIV International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Spain,
- Member of the Scientific Committee for the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Canada, in August 2006. H
- Served on the advisory panels for three U.S. Food and Drug Administration hearings on a new drug application for Chiron Corporation’s ganciclovir implant; a new drug application for Gilead’s cidofovir; and a review of the application for fomivirsen sodium.
- Published in The Lancet, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Journal of AIDS (JAIDS), Journal of Infectious Diseases, and The AIDS Reader.
As vice president, clinical research and prevention programs at amfAR and later, vice president, global initiatives, Kevin worked extensively in Asia, where he facilitated the development of amfAR’s TREAT Asia program. This network of more than 50 hospitals, community clinics, NGOs, and healthcare facilities works together with civil society in 17 countries to build the capacity necessary for scaling up treatment efforts in the region.