Help find a cure for HIV/AIDS

$10,701 $39,299
Raised Remaining
ARA Staff
ARA Staff

Dear Friends,

I have great news to share with you. Our partner and sponsor completed the funding of our "Help ARA Find a Cure for HIV/ AIDS" project. Combined, your contributions and’s will support the eight leukapheresis experiments necessary for progression of our prostratin research.

But our work is not over. As we conduct these experiments and advance our prostratin research, we need to equip our staff with the proper tools to perform the research. I hope you will consider contributing to our new project "Give to HIV/AIDS Cure Research." This project provides proper tools to researchers to conduct scientific studies to help find a cure for HIV/AIDS. 

Thanks again for your support of this project.

Warm regards,



World AIDS Day 2010, Virginia, United States
World AIDS Day 2010, Virginia, United States

Dear Friends,

The month of December is a special month for the HIV/AIDS community around the world and for AIDS Research Alliance. Every December 1 World AIDS Day is commemorated around the globe. This year AIDS Research Alliance hosted our inaugural World AIDS Day Concert at The Colburn School. Keynote speaker Dr. David Hardy, Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, gave the keynote address. Of special significance to AIDS Research Alliance were Dr. Hardy's favorable remarks about prostratin and our cure strategy.

Since the last report, we continued to mobilize interest and support for prostratin and will begin conversations with Kaiser Permanente in 2013 about a potential partnership focused on HIV/AIDS reservior eradication research. We remain optimistic that prostratin will activate the hidden virus from actual infected patients.

I wanted to share with you an encouraging article published on prostratin research this month. Articles like this is a reaffirmation that we are pursuing a valid strategy in the eradication of HIV. Please see the article link below.

I also would like to use this opportunity to let you know our project is now published in the GlobalGiving UK page. If you happen to have friends and/or relatives living in the UK they can contribute to our project too by visiting our UK page at Donations from the UK will help us achieve our financial goal to complete this project in 2013.

Words cannot express how important your support is to our ability to conduct HIV/AIDS research. Thank you for a good year.

With warm wishes for this holiday season,



Miles Viljanen, Research Assistant
Miles Viljanen, Research Assistant

Dear Friends,

We are six months away from performing the “leukapheresis” procedure on HIV positive study volunteers.  As you may recall, in order to gauge how efficiently prostratin activates the hidden virus from actual infected patients, we need to facilitate the extraction of a patient's reservoir cells needed to conduct our studies.

With the donations we received from you last April, we now have the funds to perform 1 of 8 expected “leukapheresis” procedures. Each procedure cost about $4,000. But before we are ready for the “leukapheresis” itself, we have some important preparations underway. 

  1. Re-agents have been ordered and received by the NIH HIV re-agent program
  2. Lab equipment has been sterilized
  3. The next step is to sterilize the cell growth equipment (incubators) and that takes about a week
  4. Then cell lines need to be ordered from the NIH HIV re-agent program
  5. Cell lines need to be proliferated and split and then re-aliquoted and frozen in liquid nitrogen

Once we have the lab completely prepared and the cell lines arrive, our team will spend the next six months conducting FDA-requested experiments, which will determine whether or not prostratin interferes with commonly used HIV medications. Based on everything we have seen to date, our prediction is that prostratin will not interfere with HIV medications, but we are eager to conduct and finalize the experiments so that we can move closer to clinical trials.

Thank you for supporting our research -- together, we are moving the world closer to a cure.




Leo Borjon, Clinical Research Coordinator at ARA
Leo Borjon, Clinical Research Coordinator at ARA

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your support. April was an exciting month for AIDS Research Alliance and for the HIV/AIDS scientific community. As we competed for a permanent spot on – to raise awareness and resources for our HIV/AIDS research worldwide - UCLA had a medical breakthrough.

As you might recall from April news headlines, UCLA scientists reported that they were able to manipulate hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs, found in bone marrow) to generate a population of HIV-specific immune cells (cytotoxic T lymphocytes, CTLs) that target and kill HIV-infected cells.  By using a mouse model that recapitulates the human immune system, the genetically engineered HSCs differentiated into HIV-specific CTLs and were able to suppress HIV replication when challenged with HIV. These results indicate that modulating the immune response to infection and using a stem cell based gene therapy approach is a promising strategy for targeting chronic infections.

Our research at ARA will also focus on immune modulation; we will use HIV+ patient samples as a source of CTLs, and engineer the CTLs to specifically recognize HIV-infected cells. In collaboration with some of the same researchers at UCLA, we will determine whether the engineered CTLs in combination with prostratin can increase HIV-induced cell death in latently infected cells.

During the GlobalGiving Open Challenge, we asked you to help advance our research by funding an important technology – “leukapheresis” – so that we can gauge how efficiently prostratin activates the hidden virus from an actual infected person. Because of your generosity, AIDS Research Alliance now has access to this important technology.  The funds raised during our April 2012 campaign will allow us to conduct two out of the eight “leukapheresis” procedures, a great start.  This project will be completed when we conduct the remaining six procedures.

Research takes time, perseverance and resources. Donors just like you have supported ARA and helped us accomplish important milestones in our reservoirs eradication research.

  • One of our first successes was to prove that prostratin poses no risk of causing cell mutations or tumors;
  • Another success was to prove that synthetic prostratin is effective;
  • A more recent accomplishment was to outfit a new research laboratory with several pieces of sophisticated equipment in order to advance our research. Now ARA can conduct almost all bench science in-house.

What do you think? We welcome your feedback. Please do not hesitate to contact us at


Stephen Brown

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AIDS Research Alliance

Los Angeles, CA, United States

Project Leader

Emma Brownell

Los Angeles, CA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Help find a cure for HIV/AIDS