11:48pm Thursday 12 December 2019

HIV/AIDS: Progress and concerns three decades later

A decade later Jonas, 47, lives with HIV as one would any chronic disease: he takes his antiviral drugs and plans his future—a future Jonas expects to be long and productive, including earning his degree in social work and counseling other HIV patients.

Such is the case for many HIV patients now. This month marks 30 years since the disease was discovered, and science has reduced HIV/AIDS from a death sentence to a chronic disease, but there’s still no cure.

Eve Mokotoff, adjunct lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Public Health remembers reading the first report on the strange, lithe virus reported in a handful of gay men the West Coast.

Mokotoff knew that she was witnessing the birth of a deadly, long-term assault on the public’s health. But Mokotoff, the HIV epidemiology manager for the Michigan Department of Community Health, couldn’t have predicted that today HIV/AIDS would infect approximately 33 million worldwide, and literally change our ideas about sex and public health.

Globally, the HIV/AIDS problem has reached epidemic proportions. Rachel Snow, associate professor at the U-M School of Public Health, is working hard to understand and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in African countries, which were hit hardest by the virus.

In the video, Jonas explains how he regained hope after an HIV-positive diagnosis and how the public perception of people infected with HIV/AIDS has evolved over the past three decades. Mokotoff and Snow address where the focus of HIV/AIDS research and prevention should be domestically and globally, and discuss the greatest successes and failures in the 30-year war on HIV/AIDS.

The University of Michigan School of Public Health has been promoting health and preventing disease since 1941, and is ranked among the top five public health schools in the nation. Whether making new discoveries in the lab or researching and educating in the field, SPH faculty, students and alumni are deployed around the globe to promote and protect our health. Visit: www.sph.umich.edu.


Contact: Laura Bailey
Phone: (734) 647-1848

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