Annette Sohn, amfAR

TITLE: Vice President and Director, TREAT Asia

FUNDING AREAS: HIV/AIDS 

CONTACT: annette.sohn@amfar.org, (212) 806-1600

IP TAKE: A doctor and medical researcher by training, Sohn oversees amfAR's AIDS and HIV giving in Asia— several million dollars in grants annually. Sohn and her team prioritize projects supporting treatment, research, and education related to HIV/AIDS.

PROFILE: Annette Sohn is a doctor, globetrotter, and crusader in the fight against HIV/AIDS. At amfAR, one of the country's oldest AIDS advocacy and research support groups, Sohn directs TREAT Asia, the group's Asia-centric AIDS-combating arm. Annually, Sohn's program is responsible for more than $2 million in grants for HIV-related projects throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Sohn comes to amfAR with years of experience in HIV/AIDS-related work, and a particular focus on Asia. At the University of California San Francisco, Sohn was on faculty in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, acted as assistant clinical professor in the Department of Pediatrics (a position she continues to hold), and served as Vietnam country representative for the UCSF Institute for Global Health. Sohn also directed a pediatric HIV research program in Ho Chi Minh City, where she focused on (per her official bio) "diagnostic testing and monitoring in HIV-exposed infants, stigma and discrimination in the context of prevention of mother-to-child transmission, and contraception and reproductive health outcomes of HIV-positive women." Sohn previously served as technical advisor to PEPFAR-Vietnam (a U.S. government-funded AIDS relief program operating in different countries), focusing on pediatric anti-retroviral treatments.

TREAT Asia is not a program through which individual, unrelated grants are made. Rather, it's a network of people and organizations collaborating on how to stop a pandemic disease. The TREAT Asia network consists of about 22 adult and 21 pediatric sites—hospitals, clinics, and research institutions. Together, these bodies work with civil society to treat, research, and educate the region about HIV/AIDS.

Some recent TREAT Asia projects include a observational database of adults with HIV/AIDS, anonymously collected, and containing information on more than 8,000 people. Database trends help inform research and treatment approaches for fighting HIV/AIDS in the region. TREAT Asia has created a similar database, but for children, who have somewhat different health needs. TREAT Asia is also supporting research into adolescents with HIV/AIDS and the connection between their anti-retroviral treatments and bone density loss; workshops in Thailand to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men and transgendered women; and research into the links between HIV and anal cancer. 

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