dr. beny primm – fighting for a cure

dr. beny primm – fighting for a cure

Executive Director, Addiction Research and Treatment Corporation


Dr. Beny J. Primm has been a catalyst for health awareness since the
late `60s. After witnessing an influx of minority drug addicts in the
New York area, Primm decided to create the Addiction Research and
Treatment Corporation in 1969. The nonprofit organization has since
improved the lives of thousands of inner-city drug addicts and now
addresses the needs of HIV/AIDS patients. Dr. Primm, who was appointed
to the Commission on AIDS by former President Ronald Regan, works to
curb the rise of HIV infections in the black community.

“I began working with HIV patients in 1983,” Dr. Primm
says. “During that time, we had several patients whose lymph
nodes were swollen. We didn’t have an idea what was causing this,
but we later found out that it was HIV.” Since the outbreak of
HIV/AIDS, the number of blacks diagnosed with the disease has increased
each year. Dr. Primm is appalled by the devastating numbers and
believes that drastic measures must be taken. “The CDC has called
for routine testing for people from the ages of 13 to 64, but people
who are 64 and older should be tested, too,” he says. “We
should target anyone who is sexually active. It is also important for
us to drive home the message of condom use and sexual
responsibility.”


Although new HIV/AIDS drugs have allowed those with the disease to live
less afflicted lives, Primm believes that efforts to stop the disease
must continue. “There are exciting new treatments for those who
have HIV,” he says. “But we can’t treat our way out
of this disease, we’re going to have to increase prevention
efforts.” – amir shaw

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