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About the Campbell Foundation

Image of Foundation founder Richard Campbell Zahn

Richard Campbell Zahn


Richard Zahn was a chemist who developed Herpecin-L Lip Balm for the treatment of cold sores and fever blisters. He established and operated Campbell Laboratories in Fort Lauderdale, FL, which manufactured and sold the lip balm.


In 1995, Mr. Zahn died from complications from AIDS. Herpecin-L was sold, and the proceeds flowed into the Campbell Foundation, which had a mandate to fund cutting-edge research to discover a cure for HIV.

We are recognized for HIV funding

The Campbell Foundation has been a part of helping to discover better treatments for people with HIV, as well as funding research into a cure for HIV, since its creation by the late Richard Campbell Zahn in 1995.


It was Mr. Zahn's wish that his private, independent foundation support nonprofit organizations conducting clinical, laboratory-based research into the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, and related conditions and illnesses. We do not fund behavioral research projects.


Since 1995, The Campbell Foundation has used its initial endowment and donations to fund alternative, nontraditional avenues of research that will have direct clinical impact/relevancy to the HIV care/research community within five to seven years.


Our board of directors remains dedicated to pursuing Mr. Zahn's original goals. The Campbell Foundation is committed to our original donor's intent of funding novel and groundbreaking laboratory-based HIV and AIDS research.  Our funding includes various projects that aim to eradicate the HIV virus and cure the still-deadly infection and its numerous comorbidities.

Our grant review process is thorough

The foundation's grant review process utilizes the evaluation services of a pro bono peer review board comprised of physicians and clinicians from throughout the United States. Our board of directors, who also serve pro bono, review a synopsis of each grant proposal for final funding decisions.


The Campbell Foundation has been nationally recognized by Funders Concerned About AIDS, and is ranked in its top 60 of the 300 private philanthropic institutions supporting original HIV/AIDS research in the United States and Europe.

Why we fund HIV research

HIV is different from other viruses due to its genetic variability – it replicates quickly, producing one thousand variations of the original virus every day, and it mutates daily.


Even when HIV is suppressed with a combination of the anti-viral drugs available, it hides in reservoirs of cells within the genital tract, lungs, lymphoid tissue, bone marrow and brain. When a person stops taking a particular anti-HIV drug, HIV adapts and is no longer affected by it. The virus causes inflammation, which leads to premature aging. With this, comes several other serious comorbidities that need to be managed, along with HIV. This is why on-going research is so important. We are fighting an evolving and elusive virus.

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