AIDS Research Alliance of America Awarded $250,000 by Pepsi

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Award will advance promising research targeting latent HIV—the virus not killed by existing antiretroviral drugs.

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We are deeply touched by this show of support from donors and friends from all walks of life across the United States.

Today, Carolyn Carlburg, President & Chief Operating Officer of AIDS Research Alliance of America (, expressed deep gratitude to the hundreds of thousands of donors and friends across the United States who voted for AIDS Research Alliance in the Pepsi Refresh competition (, an online social marketing campaign conducted through the month of June. Estimates suggest that AIDS Research Alliance garnered about half a million votes over 30 days, ending the month as a finalist. Declared a winner by Pepsi today, AIDS Research Alliance will receive a grant of $250,000 to purchase state-of-the-art laboratory equipment to advance its cure-focused research.

Carolyn Carlburg said, “We are deeply touched by this show of support from donors and friends from all walks of life across the United States.” Carlburg continued: “The HIV infection rate in certain parts of the U.S. is comparable to infection rates in sub-Saharan Africa. Americans continue to die of AIDS, and medical research is the only path to a cure.”

“Thanks to this show of support, we can begin to expand our laboratory capabilities,” said Stephen J. Brown, MD, Medical Director of AIDS Research Alliance. Dr. Brown continued: “We are developing a brand new treatment approach targeting latent or persistent HIV—the virus not killed by existing therapies. New state-of-the-art lab equipment will advance this research significantly.”

AIDS Research Alliance first entered the Pepsi Refresh Project in May 2010, but ended the month-long contest in 16th place. However, on June 1st Pepsi renewed AIDS Research Alliance’s quest for a $250,000 capital equipment grant. Throughout June, AIDS Research Alliance received letters, emails and social networking messages from thousands of people from coast to coast, pledging help and daily votes. “It’s heartwarming to know that so many people wanted to help us,” Carlburg said.

About AIDS Research Alliance
AIDS Research Alliance is the nation’s only independent, not-for-profit research organization licensed by the National Institutes of Health to develop an anti-HIV drug. AIDS Research Alliance helped to develop many of today’s existing anti-HIV drugs, and has been involved in every major HIV vaccine trial conducted in the U.S. Today, AIDS Research Alliance conducts research seeking an HIV vaccine and a cure for AIDS. Much of its cure-focused research depends on tax-deductible gifts from a concerned public.

About Pepsi Refresh Project
Each month, the Pepsi Refresh Project accepts 1,000 ideas from people across the U.S.—ideas that could improve their local communities in meaningful ways. Pepsi invites website visitors to vote for their favorite ideas across several categories, including health, education and the arts. Voting occurs daily, and visitors can cast up to 10 votes per day. At the end of each calendar month, the winning ideas receive financial support from Pepsi.

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Art McDermott
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