Meet Purity, a young South African woman who knows, first-hand, the physical, mental, and emotional pain that HIV inflicts on those infected with the virus. She is undergoing treatment, but naturally hopes that a cure for HIV will be found in her lifetime and that a vaccine will be developed to prevent others from contracting the virus.
In an effort led by the Bruce Walker, director of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT & Harvard, Microsoft Research is collaborating with researchers in South Africa and Boston to fight HIV. Bruce and his team have accumulated data from many individuals in South Africa in an effort to discover solutions to the problem. David Heckerman, Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft Research, is working with the team to provide them with innovative algorithms and the massive computing power needed to enable the team to progress towards a vaccine against HIV.
Until the time that such a vaccine is developed, Purity relays a message of hope to others who contract HIV. She says to hold on and hope: “They must dream, because that’s what keeps me going. Dreams—dreams and hopes.”