( CNN) When Dr. Mathilde Krim founded amfAR more than three decades ago, America was in the midst of a public health crisis. Because of the lifestyles of most of those infected, or at risk of becoming infected, AIDS was on everybody’s minds but on few people’s lips — and the stillnes was deafening.

In the earlier years, the majority of members of culture turned a blind eye to the health crisis that was claiming hundreds of thousands of lives annually. But Dr. Krim, who grew up in Europe during World War II, knew first-hand how stillnes in the face of horrific unfairnes can have devastating consequences.

So, when the AIDS crisis was devastating communities across our country, Dr. Krim knew she had to take action. She had a special endowment for acknowledging a critical life-threatening difficulty, and had the compassion, the knowledge and resolve to want to become the solution.

Child’s HIV remission focus of AIDS conference