HIV/AIDS researcher Mark Wainberg saved millions of lives, funeral hears

Laura Christensen
April 15, 2017

"Canada and the world have lost a great scientist and a great man", Julio Montaner of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS told The Globe and Mail.

"I tried to save him and I could not", Zev Wainberg said.

Acting Chief Mike De La Rosa could not confirm if Dr. Wainberg drowned or had some other medical condition that led to his death. "Mark Wainberg was a giant in HIV science", Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS, said in a press release.

In 1989, Wainberg and colleagues identified the antiviral properties of lamivudine, also known as 3TC.

Police said that a family member, after losing sight of Dr. Wainberg, swam out to help; he and bystanders pulled him to the beach.

A graduate of McGill University, Wainberg researched AIDS for almost 35 years.

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The TAC said Wainberg, a former President of the International AIDS Society, was also an outspoken critic of former president Thabo Mbeki and Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang's AIDS denialism.

"He was the epitome of dedication from the earliest days of the response", she said, adding that "the impact of his work... will live on through the millions of people accessing HIV treatment and those of us who were lucky enough to know him".

In recent years, Dr. Wainberg had once again returned to the lab.

He was awarded the Order of Canada and the Legion d'honneur, the highest honors for civilians given by Canada and France, respectively.

Wainberg previously served as president of the International AIDS Society, the Herald reports, and he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2015 for his work, which "revolutionized our understanding of HIV/AIDS at medical, epidemiological and political levels".

GENEVA, 13 April 2017-UNAIDS is deeply saddened by the tragic death of pioneering HIV researcher Mark Wainberg.

Other reports by My Hot News

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