David D. Ho

by Jonathan

David Ho is a great scientist. He was born on Nov. 2, 1952. As a boy, he lived in Taichung, Taiwan. When he was only four, his father left for America to forge a better life for them. For nine years, he could only communicate with his father through mail. After nine long years, his father finally sent for the family to come to America. When they arrived in the United States, his family settled down in Los Angeles. At school, he was constantly teased by his classmates for being stupid because he did not know any English. David graduated from high school with high honors, and went on to earn degrees from MIT and Cal Tech. He now lives in New York.

David Ho is best known for his AIDS research. Even though that is what he is most known for, he first attended MIT and Cal Tech with physics as his major. He then realized that physics wasn't the hottest thing in science any more. Molecular biology and gene splicing were cutting edge. Ho said that medical research was much more tangible. He said that he saw many young people die. That is how he became acquainted with AIDS.

David discovered a way to treat AIDS. He used a method of treating AIDS with "cocktails." He combined these with other HIV medicines, and sure enough, the deaths caused by HIV started to decline. He was declared Man of the Year by Time Magazine in 1996 in recognition of his work. This form of treating AIDS helped treat AIDS sooner.

Ho also discovered that AIDS did not lay dormant as most scientists at that time thought. The HIV multiplied rapidly and slowly weakened the immune system. Only then would the symptoms occur. Because the symptoms only came a while after the person was infected, the scientists thought HIV laid dormant.

This man is a hero because he never gave up. He was brave because he had to immigrate to a new land, where he did not know the language, and did not know anyone. He did not give up when people teased him about not knowing English. Despite all of the overwhelming odds, he graduated high school with A's in all subjects.

He makes a difference in my life because he teaches me not to give in to people who tease me just because of my heritage. He teaches everyone that no matter what religion or what culture you are, you can do something just as well as anyone else, as long as you try.

Related Links

- Read more about Dr. David Ho and his AIDS research.
Academy of Achievement - Read an interview with Dr. David Ho. The Academy of Achievement brings students face-to-face with the extraordinary leaders, thinkers and pioneers who have shaped our world.
David D. Ho biography - from PBS
David D. Ho - Disease Detective - from Time: Person of the Year
The Minds of HIV - David D. Ho