About the Countdown to a Cure for AIDS

amfAR: The Road to a Cure (2019)

Launched in 2014, amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure for AIDS is a $100 million research initiative aimed at developing the scientific basis for a cure by the end of 2020.

To date, amfAR has supported Countdown research projects conducted by more than 270 scientists working at close to 100 institutions in 16 countries.

Among these projects, amfAR initiated and is the sole funder of a consortium of European researchers known as IciStem, which played a key role in the recent case of “the London patient.” After undergoing a stem cell transplant to treat his cancer, the patient appears to be free of HIV after being off treatment for almost two years and may follow the Berlin patient as only the second person to be cured of HIV.

The London patient is part of a cohort of 45 stem cell transplant patients being followed and closely monitored by IciStem. Another IciStem patient—a man from Düsseldorf, Germany—also shows no evidence of viral rebound after a similar transplant procedure, though he has been off treatment only since November.

The Countdown to a Cure also supports the amfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research, which is undertaking a complex cure-focused clinical trial, and studies involving gene therapy, immunotherapy, nanotechnology, mass spectrometry, post-treatment control, and other potential cure strategies.  


This represents the greatest expansion of research grant-making in amfAR’s 30-year history.
— Kevin Robert Frost, amfAR Chief Executive Officer

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