World AIDS Day 2008 marks several important anniversaries in the history of the epidemic. Earlier this year, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Luc Montagnier and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, 25 years after their discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus. 2008 is also the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day, created to mobilize people and focus global attention on the pandemic. HIV InSite producer Heather Dron, reflecting on this year's theme of "Leadership," interviewed an exceptional group of researchers, clinicians, and community advocates regarding their experiences in the early days of the epidemic, the lessons learned during the past 25 years, and their thoughts on efforts to combat HIV in the future.
Donald I. Abrams, MD
"In the old days, (we) used to know all of the patients in San Francisco by name. There was a time when all the people that were involved in caring for patients with AIDS around the world knew everyone by name too."
Susan A. Allen, MD, MPH, DTM&H
"Dealing with two people as a unit is a more efficient approach than trying to deal with them as individuals. Why go through exercises like empowering them to go home and talk to their partner when you could have them and their partner come in and talk to you?"
Marcus A. Conant, MD
"Why would a caring group of people who believe in salvation, redemption, and forgiveness oppose curing sexually transmitted diseases and preventing pregnancies? The answer is they like to use those diseases as threats and weapons to intimidate their children into not having sex."
"I'm angry because some of my best friends were in the same place I was in 1996, and two of them died and I lived, and that was hard. I don't know why I lived."
Anthony S. Fauci, MD
"It was at this point that I developed goose bumps realizing that, although we did not know what the etiologic agent was, it was almost certain that we were dealing with the beginning of a new epidemic whose scope we could not have imagined at that point."
Diane V. Havlir, MD
"The question is how could I not pursue this as a career? There were so many unanswered questions, such a need to understand the disease, to determine how to treat it, how to develop strategies that kept our patients alive and healthy."
Jay A. Levy, MD
"No one expected an immune system could fight this virus because it was supposed to kill the immune system, and what we learned is that nature always builds in the exceptions."
Paul A. Volberding, MD
"Every patient that we saw died. Rabies is more mortal than untreated HIV, but that's about it. During the period from the late 80s til we started to have some glimmers of hope with treatment, everyone was dying."
|The HIV/AIDS Division at SFGH honors 25 years of service with speakers & a forum.|
|12-2 pm 1001 Potrero Ave.|
San Francisco General
Monday, December 1, 2008
|12:45-2 pm Open House|
Ward 86 Clinic