World AIDS Day Brings Two New Partners, 20K PC’s to IBM’s World Community Grid Research Effort
The Human Rights Campaign and Gay Men’s Health Crisis Encourage Others to Join Groundswell of Support
ARMONK, NY -- Dec 1, 2005 -- IBM today announced that two national advocacy groups, The Human Rights Campaign, and Gay Men’s Health Crisis, are now part of its new research effort to help battle AIDS using the massive computational power of World Community Grid.
Nearly 20,000 new computer users have joined the new global philanthropic technology endeavor which now has 120,000 members donating unused time on their personal computers since the Nov. 21 announcement of the AIDS initiative with the Scripps Research Institute. It marked the largest one week jump of membership for the year-old IBM humanitarian public grid, the first virtual supercomputer devoted specifically to AIDS research, equivalent in raw processing power to one of the world’s top 10 supercomputers.
Other leading AIDS advocacy organizations who have joined this humanitarian technology initiative while encouraging their members to download the World Community Grid software package are: the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care; the National Minority AIDS Council; Hope House; AIDS Foundation of Chicago; Midwest Aids Prevention Project; Toronto AIDS Committee; Pacific AIDS Network; Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network; AIDS Related Community Services (ARCS); and the Gay & Lesbian Association of Denmark.
According to United Nations estimates, there are 40 million adults and 2.3 million children living with HIV, and during 2005 some 4.9 million people became newly infected with the virus. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35. Around 95 percent of people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.
“World AIDS Day is an opportunity to focus our attention on the fight against AIDS and World Community Grid is a new tool in that arsenal,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “In order to increase awareness, educate and fight prejudice, more people need to get involved. That’s why we’re encouraging every person and organization with a computer to step forward and do their part to help eradicate the largest pandemic in history.”
World Community Grid offers individuals and businesses, foundations, associations, universities, and not-for-profit organizations the opportunity to donate the idle and unused time on a computer by downloading World Community Grid’s free software and registering at www.worldcommunitygrid.org. Fast, easy, safe and secure, more than 120,000 individuals are now volunteering power from 200,000 computers to help find a cure for AIDS through World Community Grid.
“World AIDS Day was created 17 years ago to call attention to a continuing and expanding HIV epidemic,” said GMHC Executive Director Ana Oliveira. “Many years later, much needs to be done as 40 million individuals are living with HIV around the world. Through IBM and World Community Grid, each one of us has the opportunity to make a difference by participating in an innovative effort to find a cure for the global AIDS pandemic.”
The new World Community Grid initiative will deploy massive computer power to develop novel chemical strategies effective in the treatment of HIV-infected individuals in the face of evolving drug resistance in the virus. The pool of potential drug molecules, as well as that of possible mutant HIV proteins that may evolve, is enormous. World Community Grid’s massive computing power will address the prediction of relevant interactions between these two pools of molecules to design effective AIDS therapies.
“World Community Grid is really a huge computer with an enormous heart,” said Stanley Litow, president of the IBM Foundation. “While it may be a virtual supercomputer, the challenge it’s helping to address is very real. That’s why we’re so excited about bringing the collective power of World Community Grid to this important research initiative.”
Launched in November 2004, World Community Grid is a global humanitarian effort that applies the unused computing power of individual and business computers to help the world’s most difficult and societal problems. Today, more than 120,000 members are running World Community Grid on more than 200,000 computers around the world.
There are more than 650 million PCs in use globally, each a potential participant in World Community Grid. Grid computing is a rapidly emerging technology than can bring together the collective power of thousands or millions of individual computers to create a giant “virtual” system with massive computational strength. Grid technology provides processing power far in excess of the world’s largest supercomputers.
“We are excited to see a new and innovative way of getting millions of people involved in supporting research, prevention and care to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS,” said Candy Ferret, President & CEO, National AIDS Fund. “World Community Grid is helping to reduce the impact of AIDS around the world in a way we can all be a part of. We encourage all computer owners to take five minutes to join in this effort.”
IBM is the world’s largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. For more than 10 years, IBM has been one of the largest corporate contributors of cash, equipment and, most important, people to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions across the United States and around the world. For more information on IBM’s philanthropic endeavors, visit http://www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility.
About The Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.
About Gay Men’s Health Crisis
GMHC is a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported and community-based organization committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS. GMHC provides services and programs to over 15,000 men, women and families that are living with or affected by HIV/AIDS in New York City. For more information, please visit www.gmhc.org.
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