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[Perspectives] Dutch dynamo

15 years after George W Bush created the multibillion dollar US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to treat HIV infections worldwide, it can be hard to recall the horrors of bearing witness to AIDS carnage. In the absence of effective treatment, there was a time of walking corpses, of young adults and their babies staggering through final days in terrible pain. The hopelessness of the time, from 1981 to 1996 in high-income countries and another 6 years in Africa, often weighed on the souls of scientists, physicians, nurses, activists, and chroniclers in its maelstrom.