BANGKOK, 29 January 2013 Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on January 28 deputized for His Majesty the King at the presentation of the Prince Mahidol Award to winners for the year 2013, at the Chakri Throne Hall in the Grand Palace.
The Prince Mahidol Award is conferred annually on individuals or institutions, two in the field of medicine and two others in public health, which have demonstrated outstanding and exemplary contributions to the advancement of the world’s medical and public health services. The 2013 winners of the Award were carefully picked from 64 nominations sent in from 28 countries.
In the field of medicine, the Award is conferred to Professor Dr. David D. Ho, scientific director and chief executive officer of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York, United States, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Health, also in the United States.
Dr. Ho has pioneered the Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) treatment for HIV-infected patients, leading to a new method of applying HAART treatment at an early stage of infection. Dr. Anthony Fauci has also made influential contributions to the understanding of how HIV destroys the body’s defenses. He shows that by using highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) will effectively control HIV replication leading to the deterioration of the immune system. The approach taken by Professor David D. Ho and Dr. Anthony Fauci has been widely embraced and set a new standard for HIV/AIDS patient treatment – changing AIDS from a lethal, untreatable disease to a chronic one, and saving millions of lives throughout the world.
In the field of public health, the Prince Mahidol Award goes to Baron Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and former Executive Director of UNAIDS for his work in raising public awareness and pushing for HIV/AIDS treatment in low-income countries. Another recipient in the field is Dr. Jim Yong Kim, former director of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s HIV/AIDS department who had promoted universal access to anti-retrovirals during his tenure of office. He coordinated with UNAIDS, governments and agencies concerned to arrange funding, training courses and capacity building programs for the treatment, reducing the cost of HAART therapies, and enhancing treatment, prevention, and care for HIV/AIDS patients.
The Prince Mahidol Award Foundation under the Royal Patronage was established in commemoration of the centenary of the birth of His Royal Highness Prince Mahidol of Songkla, on January 1, 1992. The Foundation has Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn as president. Each Prince Mahidol Award consists of a medal, a certificate and a sum of US $100,000.