Mission and Purposes

Foundation > Mission and Purposes

Current scientific framework

Viral diseases are on one hand the major cause of the dramatic health emergency in developing countries – where they represent the principal cause of death – and on the other they also impact the most industrialized and economically advanced countries where they are of great concern also in the social and health fields. The times are distant now, in which we thought vaccines and drugs could prevent and eradicate viral diseases – like the World Health Organization stated a few decades ago.

It is necessary to keep in mind that:

  1. the outbreak of Aids disrupted global health plans, recreating very similar contexts to those generated by past cholera and plague epidemics, and seriously threatening the presence of entire populations, mainly in Africa, due to the absence of controls and appropriate countermeasures;
  2. viral hepatitis, with its consequences of cirrhosis and liver cancer, added a further element to the framework described above. It is estimated that nearly 2 billion people (one third of the world population) have come in contact with the hepatitis B virus;
  3. last but not least, viruses have been associated with the onset of cancer, a generally degenerative type. Cervical cancer, for example, which continues to cost many lives across the world, certainly has a viral etiology (papilloma virus). A vaccine was finally developed against this cancer and its efficacy must be demonstrated over time. Other tumors are currently being studied, and their viral origin is highly hinted at (some forms of leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, Kaposi's sarcoma, etc.).
    4. to conclude, degenerative diseases and disabling conditions are now associated with the presence of certain viruses, whose etiological correlation with the disease is yet to be demonstrated.

The current framework is essentially in line with the latest World Health Organization’s indications, that contradict previous forecasts. The WHO now considers infective diseases as an 'unavoidable priority', since they mainly affect poor populations (they are in fact defined, along with tuberculosis, 'diseases of poverty').

Aviralia Foundation’s mission and role

This highly dynamic framework is confronted with the massive reduction and broad spectrum of funding for medical research. Due to the above mentioned reduction of public funding, associated with the research’s rising costs, it is particularly hard now to carry out scientific activity in an appropriate way in Italy and across the world. Rising costs are the result of the use of increasingly sophisticated machinery. It is therefore necessary to consider public and private co-financing as the key to properly perform scientific research in this field, to the point that the vast majority of publicly funded projects are better considered if there is additional funding from private organizations. (In some instances, this is even mandatorily required).

It is essentially clear that collecting funds in the private sector and not only in the public one is an indispensable priority, also in light of the various tax changes in terms of deductibility of the sums provided for such purposes.

The Foundation's activities, aimed at supporting research in the medical field, are perfectly in line with the needs of public health and scientific research. Its support is based on direct fundraising as well as on promoting activities, including educational ones, that can help achieving knowledge and awareness in the particularly sophisticated field of viruses-related diseases.

Institutional purposes.

The Foundation’s activities as described above, that aim at reaching its institutional purposes, essentially refer to the following: