The Campbell Foundation, a Fort Lauderdale-based nonprofit, raised more than $10,000 to continue its mission to find a cure for HIV-AIDS.

Dr. Ana Puga, medical director of the Comprehensive Family AIDS Program at the Children's Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Fort Lauderdale, was the keynote speaker at a recent fundraising event for The Campbell Foundation.

Dr. Puga, a past grant recipient and pediatric infectious disease specialist, spoke of how the promise of a cure for HIV/AIDS is more of a reality today than ever before in light of recent announcements that two infants born with the AIDS virus appear to have been cured through aggressive drug treatment. She pointed out that organizations such as The Campbell Foundation, whose mission is to help discover a cure for HIV/AIDS through the funding of research, has helped to pave the way for a cure.

Nearly 100 Campbell Foundation supporters attended the event including Dr. Mathias Lichtenheld, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Rebeca Geffin, a research assistant professor at the University of Miami Health System and past grant recipient. The funding that Geffin and co-researcher Micheline McCarthy received was used to conduct a study into how HIV invades the brain early during infection and can eventually result in neurological disease.

During its 19 years in existence The Campbell Foundation, which is based in Fort Lauderdale, has given away $9 million dollars in grants to researchers around the world. Last year, Funders Concerned About AIDS ranked the foundation among the top HIV/AIDS funders in the country. Earlier this year, the foundation awarded a $79,954 grant to the White River Junction VA Medical Center in Vermont to support research designed to improve the anti-HIV and anti-Herpes (HSV-2) activity of the antiretroviral drug Tenofovir.

The event was underwritten by the Habayeb Group at Merrill Lynch. Immediately following the event, the foundation announced it had raised $10,000 with additional donor commitments still coming in.

Based in Fort Lauderdale, The Campbell Foundation was established in 1986 by the late Richard Campbell Zahn as a private, independent nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting clinical, laboratory-based research into the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. It focuses its funding on supporting alternative, nontraditional avenues of research. In its 19th year, the Campbell Foundation has given away $9 million dollars, with about $1 million going to direct services.