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In Memory of Ron Rosenes


It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of our beloved friend and esteemed colleague,

Ron Rosenes, who passed away on October 21st, 2023.

Those who had the privilege of knowing Ron, understand his dedication and passion in the fight against HIV/AIDS were unparalleled. Ron played a crucial role in advancing our mission

and the inception of CanCURE.

Ron Rosenes B.A (hon) M.A., LL.D (hon), CM, had been living with HIV for over 30 years and became an active volunteer member of the HIV community in Toronto in 1991. Ron has served in governance roles as the Board Chair of ACT, founding Board Member of the Sherbourne Health Centre and as a member of the Steering Committee of the Canada AIDS Russia Project and Vice Chair of AIDS2006 Toronto Local Host. In 2011 he stepped down as Vice Chair of Canadian Treatment Action Council after 14 years. Ron serves on numerous advisory committees including a CIHR Working Group on Ethics in Patient Engagement in Research. In addition to CanCURE, Ron’s research interests include HIV, aging and related co-morbidities. Ron has received numerous awards for his community work, including an Honorary Doctorate from Carleton University and the Order of Canada.

Throughout the year, Ron helped to plan the Café Scientifique event that took place on January 15th 2024 in Montreal QC. Unfortunately, Ron was not able to attend the event, so our friends and colleagues were able to pay tribute to Ron.

See below Dr.Eric Cohen's kind words paying homage to our dear Ron :

Tribute to Ron Rosenes:


My name is Eric Cohen and I am the lead investigator of the Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise, CanCURE, a National Team dedicated to understanding the biology of HIV persistent reservoir during ART and committed to the development of interventions towards a HIV cure . I had the pleasure and privilege to meet and know Ron when I joined the CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Advisory Committee, CHARAC, in 2010 . I was immediately struck by Ron's curiosity, vast and broad culture and ability to express himself so  eloquently not only in English but also in perfect French . But above all, I was impressed by his spirit of resilience, empathy and unwavering commitment to the cause of HIV.

As a member of the Community of persons living with HIV, Ron tirelessly worked to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, dispelling myths, combating stigma, and promoting education to empower communities. His efforts extended beyond mere awareness; he actively campaigned for access to treatment, healthcare, decriminalization and support services for those living with HIV . Ron's dedication to ensuring that every person affected by HIV received the care and dignity they deserved and be able to participate and share their perspectives in the development of HIV research programs contributed to the implementation of important research initiatives at CIHR . Ron’s compassionate advocacy for all the persons living with HIV  was to me, as a young basic HIV scientist , an eye opener and a transformative experience. But, importantly, what was so special about Ron and that indeed led to a productive collaboration and friendship was his profound understanding of the transformative potential that research holds in shaping the future of HIV/AIDS . In 2012 after the exciting news that  Timothy Brown, the Berlin patient, was found HIV-free, we started discussing at CHARAC the  urgent need to develop more research on HIV persistence and cure in Canada. I remember his genuine excitement and unwavering support for HIV cure research even though we were all well aware of the challenges and complexity of this research endeavour. By championing and endorsing efforts dedicated to finding a cure for HIV, he knew that he was bringing hope and progress for people living with HIV .

This is why  without hesitations, I invited Ron to contribute to the inception of CanCURE in 2015 and to put in place with Robert Reinhardt and Shari Margolese,  a Community Advisory Board  that could help  guide  CanCURE’s research programs, but also understand how the community perceived and viewed HIV cure so that CanCURE  research would be as relevant as possible. Without the support of Ron and the CAB, CanCURE scientists would not have been  able to develop the unique and impactful  end of life research work that emerged in the last couple of years and that is recognized internationally as a CanCURE signature.    

Ron was a great champion and active member of CanCURE   but he also played a unique  role as a mentor  as he cultivated the next generation of advocates and aspiring HIV cure researchers. His mentorship was characterized by a unique blend of compassion, knowledge, and a commitment to instill a sense of purpose in those he guided .  Ron served as a role model, illustrating that dedication to a cause could be a driving force in effecting positive change. In that regard, he was faithful to the concept of Tikum Olam originating from his Jewish background, which refers to various forms of action intended to repair and improve the world.

In celebrating Ron Rosenes, we acknowledge not just the strides he made in the pursuit of a cure but also the indelible mark he left on the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to learn from him. May his dedication to scientific progress and mentorship serve as a guiding light for current and future generations of researchers and activists committed to eradicating HIV/AIDS . Ron Rosenes will be remembered not only for his advocacy and support for HIV cure research but also for the lasting influence he had on the human side of the fight against this global health challenge.


On behalf of everyone at CanCURE, we extend our deepest condolences to Ron's family, friends, and all who had the privilege of crossing paths with him. Let us honor his legacy by continuing the vital work he devoted himself to.


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