Time Magazine Man of the year 1996: Science & Medicine
THE ONE AND ONLY ASIAN DOCTOR HONORED UP TO NOW. HIS ACHIEVEMENTS ARE FROM THE RARE SCIENCE & MEDICINE CATEGORY.
Dr. David Ho
BY HOWARD CHUA-EOAN
TIME Person of the Year: Story Archive Since 1927, Dr. David Ho
If you lean in close, conspiratorially, Sonia Ho may just let slip a secret she keeps about her son David. She will speak in a hush, as if to elude some spy’s eavesdropping from behind the potted palm. But she badly wants to divulge her information. Thus, slightly abashed but nonetheless proud, she will confide, “He’s kind of a genius, you know. I’m not supposed to say that, but it’s true.”
Mothers are allowed to say these things. But one doesn’t have to be David Da-i Ho’s mother to be aware of his brilliance. He lays forth clearly and succinctly some of the boldest yet most cogent hypotheses in the epic campaign against HIV; at the same time, he operates nimbly through the budgetary and political pitfalls of the enterprise. And though he is monumentally tranquil in demeanor, he has been known to fling the occasional hot one-liner against naysayers—once, “It’s the virus, stupid!” to those who insist HIV is not the cause of AIDS.