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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Tuesday's Connector: Bill Gates

July 18th, 2010
11:46 AM ET

He's arguably the most famous business man in the world, but Bill Gates is anything but a selfish money-maker.

Bill Gates is your Connector of the Day.

Bill Gates is your Connector of the Day.

The Microsoft founder has become one of the world's greatest philanthropists and today the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation boasts nearly $34 billion.

The foundation teams up with partners around the world to take on some of the most important global issues, primarily poverty and poor health in developing countries.

A significant portion of the fund is spent fighting HIV/AIDS, and this week Gates is playing a key role in the Vienna 2010 AIDS Conference.

Gates has said he is now optimistic about finding an HIV vaccine and he's working with some of the world's top health experts to make this possible.

soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Adam M. Hutchison

    How are the various keys to this puzzle going to be put together and implemented into an actual vaccine? The puzzle pieces I've read about recently include the initial infecting agent of HIV and this key antibody. Are there any scientists working to combine some of these strategies to a vaccine possibility? Are there plans to combine these strategies, manufacture and implement a trial phase to see if these work?

    July 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  2. Webster Malido

    Mr Bill Gates deserves praise for his courage in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Given the amount of time and resources he has thus far invested in the fight, Mr Gates is by far the main source of hope in finding a vaccine for HIV. Nevertheless, I would like to ask Mr Gates a question which might sound ridiculous but I would like to hear his opinion all the same given that he has been involved in the HIV and AIDS struggle for a long time now. In your view, Mr Gates, why has it taken this long – more than 20 years – to find a vaccine for HIV when there has been extra-ordinary success for other deadly diseases during periods when the field of medicine was less advanced than it is today? I know we should be optmistic but I would be interested to get your thoughts on this one. Yours in full support of your philanthropy work, Webster, Lusaka, Zambia

    July 18, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  3. Tom Nguyen

    Hi Mr. Gates. Would you ever consider pouring money into the Methuselah Foundation? I know finding an HIV vaccine is cool and all, but I think living forever is cooler...

    July 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  4. Leon Enovwo

    what will you say about your command "cntrl+alt+del" ?

    July 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  5. Zeeshan Idrees

    Question 1
    Do you think that people with AIDS should be allowed to reproduce?

    Question 2
    If you were to choose between abstinence and contraception in the fight against AIDS, which one would you support and why?

    July 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  6. Tunde

    What Bill is doing is great? while some selfish millionaires gamble, you are busy thinking of the poor people of the world. Your optimism is accurate and i believe that a vaccine for HIV is possible eventhough the microbe is unique in its mode. scientists can and will definitely find a vaccine. thanks for supporting these great ideas. beware of fraudulent laboratories with thier fraudulent CEOs. please always keep us to date with the advancements they researchers are making.

    July 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Reply
  7. lakshman wadhwani

    Hi Bill,
    As a Scientist , i would like to know if the Gates Foundation is committed to funding technology transfer initiatives to resource poor countries especially in Africa, so that they could actually begin to manufacture the much needed Anti-retrovirals to help treat the disease.
    As we know an HIV population of individuals with access to this much needed medicines has the potential to drastically curb infection rates as these groups have access to much cheaper and affordable medications through their respective governments. This would not only curb mortality rates but also the consequential reduction of Viral load in patients would drastically reduce transmissiion rates!!!!
    But it all begins with access and the only sustainable means is not through philanthropy but actually making these drugs right in the backyards of these countries!
    As the adage goes, "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, but teach him to fish and you would feed him for a lifetime!"

    cheers

    July 18, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  8. MM

    if the vaccine is available:

    who will have access to the vaccine? What will be the "economics" that would rule the mass production of it? and who will control the distribution of the vaccine?

    The social impact would be great, however I am very concerned on what would be the economic impact of such breakthrough could cause – also there are large labs producing medication . Are they happy with your advancements? please comment on this.

    July 18, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Reply
  9. James

    Where will the future vaccine be deployed first?

    July 18, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Reply
  10. Cami

    If his team manages to create a cure and a vaccine then gates should receive a medal of honor from the united nations.

    July 18, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  11. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello William Henry "Bill" Gates and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from Bill Gates on the following questions:

    – What is your opinion on the way Sharon Mitchell, the Director(CEO) of the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation(AIM Medical), is handling HIV/AIDS Awareness under Erotic Actors of the Sexual or Pornography Business Industry?

    – How can a Software Architect STOP Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the Dark side of our Churches in our International Community?

    I am awaiting William Henry "Bill" Gates’s replies.

    Greetings,
    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    July 19, 2010 at 4:15 am | Reply
  12. Keira

    Hello,

    My question is: do you think that in 2010 and with all the technology/resources available that people are more educated about HIV/AIDS & its causes or have the numbers remain constant in that regard?? What is the next step in educating everyone about HIV/AIDS?

    Thanks,

    Keira
    NY

    July 19, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  13. Nalinesh Arun

    Hi Bill

    Great work with diseases. Would you fund research into alternative energy which I believe is key in stopping us rushing headlong into a disaster? If you could spare a few millions, I have a plan to amalgamate at least two renewals sources into a sustainable source of electricity. I could do with some funding. No bank is keen to do this in New Zealand as the initial payback is near zilch.

    Nalinesh Arun – nalinesh.arun@ccc.govt.nz
    Christchurch
    New Zealand

    July 19, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Reply
  14. Alex

    Do you think Microsoft will ever make open source Operating System?

    July 20, 2010 at 1:07 am | Reply
  15. Anthony Ugochukwu Uwalaka

    Kudos, Mr Bill Gate. More power to your philantropic works. Of a truth, there is great reward to every great labour.

    July 20, 2010 at 1:28 am | Reply
  16. Stan Willmann

    Bill, What can be done to convince other billionaires to follow your example? Everyone expects the government to solve all problems when the "super rich" hoard their wealth and return nothing to society. Tax breaks for the wealthy seem absurd when the wealthy do little or nothing to support the people who made their enormous wealth possible!

    July 20, 2010 at 2:16 am | Reply
  17. Tang T T

    Hello Mr. Gates : it's sound funny to ask the question : why with all the great and experience doctors and reserchers in this world, we still cannot find the cure for HIV / AIDS ? some how they managed to find medicines for all sickness but why not HIV / AIDS ? with Mr. Gates guidance, I can safety said : it shouldn't be a great problem : looking forward to Mr. Gates reply.

    July 20, 2010 at 3:23 am | Reply
  18. Heath

    Hello Mr Bill Gates and the CNN community.

    Firstly, I would quickly like to convey my huge admiration that I have for you and your wife, Mrs Melinda Gates. Both of you are a beacon of light and hope for many people and are shining examples of people who are extremely fortunate in life yet who have managed to ensure that their moral compass remains pointing in the right direction. In the society we live in today this is somewhat of a rarity.

    My questions are:

    1.) Do you personally believe that only the support of a few very wealthy people can change the world or is the help of a wider field of people needed?

    Suffering has being happening for decades in Africa and it seems that even with the input of incredibly influential people like yourself, the overwhelming tasks seem almost impossible.

    2.) Do you see hope for people and our way of life in the next few decades?

    With the world currently going through very difficult times it seems that things are continuing to get worse. Do you think this is just a bad phase that we will pull ourselves out of?

    3.) Are you in favour of space exploration and what are your views on exploring bodies like the moon and other places in the solar system?

    Thankyou very much for answering my questions

    Heath in Manchester, England

    July 20, 2010 at 4:22 am | Reply
  19. kobby

    are you still in touch with GOD?

    July 20, 2010 at 6:27 am | Reply
  20. JUST:

    WAS HIV/AIDS A DIVINE PUNISHMENT, OR A HUMAN INVENTION OF SOMETHING THAT (WHATEVER THE ANSWER) SHOULD NOT EVER HAVE BEEN HYPED {SO MUCH} AGAINST PEOPLE THOSE HYPERS DON'T/DIDN'T LIKE? COS THE QUESTION ALWAYS IS: WHY NOT U?

    July 20, 2010 at 7:50 am | Reply
  21. JUST:

    COS : if you knew what kind of people, sons of what kind of people, I T HIT during the years, you may have 2 ADAPT your answer if you do not THINK WE'LL about IT. I KNOW you CANNNOT stand by the HYPERS! Look how Mike HUG[{A}]BI had 2 ADAPT [{HIS}], because of what he'd said about what later would result to be sons of those (just) like him?!

    July 20, 2010 at 7:57 am | Reply
  22. JUST:

    DU: WHY NOT YOU, YOURS, THEM, THEIRS, ANYONE'SS?! THAT IS [{SU!CH}] A BIG PROBLEM, AND [{(SU'CH)}] [A] BIG ONE ASS WE'LL, AND HERE'S WHAT I THINK/BELIEVE: HIV/AIDS NEVER CAME FROM GOD! BUTT: IT WAS AN INVENTION OF THOSE WHO IN THE 1970'S, AND IN THE 1980'S, WERE IN POSITIONS TO COME UP WITH AIDS! FIRST AS A WARNING NOT TO MAKE BABIES WITH NIGGERS – AND NOT TO BE HOMOSEXUALLY ACTIVE – AS THAT LEADS US TO THE ONES WHO INVENTED THAT CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY: PEOPLE WHO STILL THINK/BELIEVE THAT THE BEST GUY IS THE ARYAN & STR8 GUY. OTHERWISE THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE COME UP WITH SUCH {[A}] CLEAR "BIBLICAL" RESPONSE TO SOMETHING SONS & DAUGHTERS OF EVEN THOSE PREACHING LIKE THEM WILL GET!!

    July 20, 2010 at 8:06 am | Reply
  23. Oze K. Oze

    Hi Bill,
    We appreciate your good works! What has been your most memorable moment so far in your pursuit of this honourable cause?
    Cheers,
    Oze K. Oze
    Lagos
    Nigeria

    July 20, 2010 at 8:31 am | Reply
  24. Twaha Salim

    Thank you mr Gates for all the initiatives you have done to help the people who have affected with HIV/AIDS especially in third world countries,your efforts are seen.Mr Gates,we have heard from different media that the medicine which can cure about 90% HIV/AIDS has been discovered,My question is that,how can you help the people from the third world,who most of them are poor and can not afford buying the medicicines to get them? Thank youi.

    July 20, 2010 at 9:06 am | Reply
  25. NYIHIRANI, WASANTE H.

    Mr Bill Gates deserves praise for his courage in the fight against HIV and AIDS. you are busy thinking of the poor people of the world...........MY QN IS THAT: ARE YOU REALY IN IT FIGHTING FOR THIS PROBLEM OR YOU JUST WANT TO BE MORE FAMOUS AND THE LAST QN IS THAT AFTER DISCOVERY ARE YOU IN POSITION TO COMMENCE A FUND JUST TO HELP BUYING THAT MEDICINE FOR THOSE POOR COUNTRIES LIKE MY COUNTRY TANZANIA?

    July 20, 2010 at 9:34 am | Reply
  26. Al Moran (Spain)

    Hello,

    I'd like to know how the Foundation makes sure that each single penny is used wisely. Many time we hear stories of corruption and missmanagement in Third World countries. Many thanks.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:06 am | Reply
  27. Fahd

    Question

    Until when we have afraid of this illness “AIDS” ????

    regards
    Fahd
    aljebzi@hotmail.com

    July 20, 2010 at 10:47 am | Reply
  28. charles johnson

    It must be quite possible that the anti-HIV drugs we now are distributing are actually resulting in an increase in the number of infections. Is there a way to protect those not infected?

    July 20, 2010 at 10:57 am | Reply
  29. bobby saxton

    why isnt bill worried more about hepc since its a greater threat than hiv

    July 20, 2010 at 11:17 am | Reply
  30. Vinayak

    We have failed to contain computer virus for years now and security is big concern. How confident are you that you will succeed in containing this human virus?.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:23 am | Reply
  31. Mohamed Derar

    Dear Mr. Gates,
    You deserve much praise for the efforts and resources that you and your foundation have put into making the world a better place. Hypothetically speaking, if offered a choice between retaining your net worth (and thus continuing to do good well into the future) or giving it all up to cure AIDS and AIDS alone, what would you do (the offer IS negotiable).

    July 20, 2010 at 11:58 am | Reply
  32. fady ashraf

    what is your next the marvelous project in the future?

    July 20, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  33. fady ashraf

    how do you do to reach this success in the computers?
    what is your reference in the your work

    July 20, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  34. fady ashraf

    ?

    July 20, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  35. Radzi Buckman

    Mr. Gates,

    It's inspiring to see a leading business figure like yourself, take on a mountain of a challenge such as the one you have attempted to conquer.

    With respect to the HIV issue, what are the top 3 challenges that you foresee in the future in terms of coming up with a viable vacine/cure?

    Best of luck Bill, and hope you succeed in tackling issues that help mankind!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  36. Marcelo Reisman

    Where it gonna stop NWO ?

    July 20, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  37. Henry Mukwaya

    Dear Sir,
    How shall the less disadvantaged HIV/AIDS societies/Villages in Uganda benefit from these new Innovations-Technologies /resources available today?

    Henry Mukwaya
    Kampala Uganda
    Mobile:+256776543122/0704006104

    July 20, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  38. Bushara Deus Uganda

    with all respect,Bravo for that great work,Do you share the idea of bringing people having a finacial musle like yours onboard to fight AIDS.and what has been your effort on this

    July 20, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  39. Darren J Kindberg

    When is Mr. Gates going to rescue Microsoft?

    July 20, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  40. Francis J. Hermanussen

    Why is it that people with money feel so guilty, they must immerse themselves into these "good for the world poor" projects?
    HIV/Aids is Nature"s version of Sodom and Gomorrah. Man's research has only made it worse, allowing victims to live longer and infect many others with the disease.
    Why don't you use your resources to tackle more important medical or social issues here in America? Is garnering the World"s good will for Microsoft your motivation?

    July 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  41. desert voice

    It's an opportunity to ask him a personal question: Is he really concerned about AIDS? If he is, here is what I would suggest: He could help me finish my dissertation on the Meaning and Prevention of Suffering! Since 2006, I have been writing a dissertation on how to help the world to get read of evils including AIDS, based on the writings of John Paul II. It's A huge work, since it involves doing research in several foreign languages, in the XXVII volume Insegnamenti. Given that I speak and write fluently six languages in which John Paul II wrote, I am probably the best qualified person in the world to this work. Yet, since the first day, I have not received a single cent of help. All my 750 dollar monthly Social Security goes for rent, university tuition, computer, and not a penny is left each month (as an example, even though the end of month is not yet, I only have 80 dollaras left in my pocket!). I haven't driven since 2006 in order to save on gasoline for this dissertation. I have contacted student loan organizations (including Mr. Gates' Student Loan Scholarship Fund, but all told me that I am too old. I don't know haw bad is the situation of Mr. Gates, economically, but I suspect that perhaps he could help. My work has a universal scope, and if completed, it will help millions to deal with their suffering and also with the prevention!

    July 20, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  42. Diana Souza

    Sr. Bill,

    o senhor pretende usar fundos arrecadados com a sua rede de informática para ajudar a essas pessoas. Abriria mão da riqueza para ajuda-los?

    July 20, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  43. Soheil

    Great Works Bill.

    One thing that I was concerned about is the way that IT and Microsoft infrastructure could be used to eliminate HIV/AIDS?

    Have you taken into account the effects of information technology could have in Africa and lower GDP countries on that ground?

    July 20, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  44. Rachel

    I love you becky.
    Bill Gates is my,one my role models.I always look up to him anything new in software tecnology.what is he bringing now,after the I.PHONE?
    Rachel
    Uganda

    July 20, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  45. Anna

    what is more satisfying being able to give so much money to cause like this – or creating microsoft?

    July 20, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  46. beshewamyeleh assefa

    thank your great effort to eradicate this killer disease from this land but my question relies Bill do you realize that allocating fund for sub saharan afarican cuntries eradicat HIV/AIDS?

    July 20, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  47. Gordito Mojito

    Mr. Gates – Given your experience in both the private and public sectors: Is benevolence a monoply onto the philosopher kings of government who speak often of altruism but are paid for their work or is it possible for the private sector to pursue good deeds and pay themselves if they happen to succeed?

    The reason I ask is that Capitalism seems to be a dirty word these days, yet this is the very system (often through grants & research) that has solved the vast majority of the worlds ills. Not the collectivist redistribution so in favor today and repeatedly proven through history as a majestic failure.

    Health and Happiness- Gordito Mojito

    July 20, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  48. fofo

    what thes oh so agly

    July 20, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  49. R.Krishnaswami

    Salutations to this great person,Mr .Bill Gates,self-made,humane, rich and yet humble.

    During the TV programme on 20.7.2010(that is when I saw it on CNN) he highligted (as I understood) three aspects of his drive to eradicate AIDS:

    1.TREATMENT for the affected,including development of vaccines etc.
    2.PREVENTION:
    3.I am unable to recollect the details of this aspect.I will leave it at that.

    Of the three "TREATMENT" stands on the research, manufacture and administration of vaccine.Though this is a stupendous task in itself,it can be achieved relatively easily compared to "PREVENTION",which has many complicated components,because of the following facts.

    a)AIDS is transmitted through blood transfusion/sex /drug addiction and the need for the syringes etc.

    b)youngters unaware of the consequences,driven by the harmones, fall into the trap of these delights and contract the disease.The falling into these traps can ,to a great entent be due to having spare time and having no understanding guidance from parents/caring elders.

    When both parents are busy, earning a living and that too upto an ever-increasing level of the demand of the society,how can they find time for guiding the kids.This is THE STUMBLING BLOCK as far as the PREVENTION is concerned.

    TREAMENT CAN BE ACHIEVED BY SCIENCE AND TECH.

    THE VERY SAME SCIENCE AND TECH WILL BE ACTING AGAINST PREVENTION.

    With advancement in science, the commnon observation shows that, man is becoming less human human every minute.

    It does not mean we have go to the tree top .

    THE CRUX OF ALL HUMAN PROBLEMS LIES IN UNDERSTANDING WHAT THIS MONSTER CALLED "BOREDOM" IS

    GOD WILLING I CAN ELABORATE ON ANOTHER OCCASION.NOT MANY MAY BE INTERESRTED.

    The very same scientist who can ,justifiably claim credit for the improved human standard of EXISTANCE,(which we call life), must honestly accept responsibility for the present predicament of humanity,at large.

    Let it be any scientist: be it NEUCLEAR,MEDICAL or IT-RELATED.

    R.Krishnaswami.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  50. R.Krishnaswami

    I am unable to understand the standard by which my comment on the above article was found to be unfit for "blog";,after moderation-:

    Decency of language?

    unacceptable logic?

    Peeople who respect freedom of thought and expressiion may,if they so wish,can enlighten me.

    Grateful

    July 20, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  51. Harriet Vidyasagar

    I am very grateful that we in India, so far away from Mr Gates hometown/backyard also benefit from Mr and Mrs Gates generosity. I have a friend who has for years been running a hospice for people afflicted with AIDS and for helping with education and counselling for the families (women and children) affected by the consequence of a partner who has AIDS. Unfortunately she has had to relunctantly consider shutting the service down as she is finally running out of funds! Not many small projects run by dedicated individuals know how to access this great pool of generosity. I suppose Foundations need to work through Govt organisations but all too often the funds are squandered. It would be great to develop a system where the process for this distribution of funds can be transparent so at least there is some accountability for the proper use of it and maybe individuals, after due diligence is done on their project' can hope to also tap this source. Thanks

    July 21, 2010 at 3:11 am | Reply
  52. Hannah

    I have been hearing of the works the B&M Gates foundation is doing and I think it is great!! But I still believe that Governments of nations especially in Africa (I am an African) should show some more commitment to health care, monitor and spend donor funds judiciously and adopt methods of prevention that are effective. Leaders at all levels in the society should teach Abstinence and then the number of people getting infected through non-sexual means will gradually reduce too.
    Bill Gates, the first time I read your letter about what made you respond the way you do, I was moved to tears, I said to myself... If you had this much, what would you do?

    July 21, 2010 at 9:04 am | Reply
  53. Robert V. Gerard

    First, thank you B&M for your devotion to humanity.

    AIDS is a genetic problem and definitely needs to be treated and eventually prevented. Aids also has psychological roots, but does anyone in science know about that?

    Peace is a genetically generated and definitely needs to be shared and eventually used for treatment of AIDS and many other dysfunctional social conditions.

    When will the fact be understood that biology and psychology are interwoven. Together, they can change a person's inner environment and social environment as well.

    The upcoming book HANDS of PEACE explains this in detail.

    July 24, 2010 at 8:02 am | Reply
  54. L. Morgan

    Bill,

    You owe me $20 from December of 1979 that I gave to your friend at the Frontier Restaurant in Albuquerque when you were in a bit of trouble. you know what i mean. L.

    August 4, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Reply

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