In memoriam: Professor Andrea De Luca (1964-2019)

8 February 2019 – On behalf of colleagues from WHO HIV Programme, the Regional Office for Europe and the HIV ResNet community, we mourn the loss of Professor Andrea De Luca, who tragically passed away in a car accident on 4 February 2019.

Professor Andrea De Luca at the EECAAC 2018 – Eastern Europe and Central Asia AIDS Conference, presenting WHO HIV Drug Resistance strategy
Professor Andrea De Luca presented WHO’s HIV drug resistance strategy at the 2018 Eastern Europe and Central Asia AIDS Conference.

Professor De Luca was a distinguished HIV scientist and a founding member of WHO HIVResNet: a key pillar in WHO’s work to combat HIV drug resistance, which has helped save many lives and prevent new transmissions since its inception in 2004.

Professor De Luca was based at the University of Siena, Italy. He dedicated decades of his work to HIV research, managing clinical studies on the treatment of HIV infection, hepatitis co-infections, HIV drug resistance, pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenomics of antiretrovirals, and HIV-associated central nervous system disorders.

Andrea contributed significantly to the panel for European guidelines for the Clinical use of HIV drug resistance testing, and to the WHO global guidelines on the public health response to HIV drug resistance.

Andrea was an inspiring mentor and teacher, and his dedication to organizing workshops and conferences on HIV, including the European workshop on resistance and treatment strategies will always be remembered. His voice as a talented facilitator and advocate to develop HIV research agendas, particularly in the European Region and in Russia, will be sorely missed.

As a member of the WHO HIVResNet Steering Group, he was instrumental in developing global research capacity on HIV drug resistance, and collaborated passionately with other scientific groups as well with community organizations such as the DREAM project of Sant’Egidio to expand access to life-saving HIV treatments in Africa.

Andrea’s death is a huge loss to the HIV research field, and to the HIV drug resistance research community. He will be remembered not only for his professional talent, but also for his warmth and friendliness. He was the kind of person that made this world a better place – every day he lived his life making good things happen to people, both close and far.

Kind and generous to his family, friends and colleagues, he saved uncountable lives in Italy and in countries far away with his dedication to the fight against AIDS. His invaluable contribution to HIV treatment science will remain in our hearts and will continue to shine a light in our ongoing fight against HIV.