New York Times
April 14, 2017
By: Richard Sandomir
Dr. Mark Wainberg, a microbiologist who identified a drug that later became critical to treating people infected with H.I.V., and who later became a leading advocate for giving millions of people with H.I.V. and AIDS in Africa greater access to antiretroviral drugs, died on Tuesday after struggling in the waters off Bal Harbour, Fla. He was 71.
His son, Zev, said that he and Dr. Wainberg had been swimming in rough surf when Dr. Wainberg appeared to be drowning. His son pulled him to shore and performed CPR before paramedics arrived. He was taken to Aventura Hospital in nearby Aventura, Fla., where he was declared dead, according to the Bal Harbour police.
The AIDS pandemic was spreading quickly in the 1980s when Dr. Wainberg — who spent much of his career at McGill University in Montreal — began to study H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS. He spent time working with Dr. Robert Gallo, the co-discoverer of H.I.V., who provided Dr. Wainberg with the cells and antibodies to grow the virus in his laboratory at McGill.
Then, in 1989, after studying the properties of a new antiviral drug called 3TC, or Lamivudine, Dr. Wainberg found that it was effective against H.I.V. It soon became an important part of the so-called AIDS cocktail of drugs that is still used to treat infected patients.
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