Opinion: An AIDS-free generation is within sight

Monday, July 1, 2013

By Eric P. Goosby

We’ve come a long way since my early days as the associate medical director of the AIDS clinic at San Francisco General Hospital in the 1980s and 1990s.

By 1990, I had seen over 500 patients die from a disease that we just couldn’t treat. As an infectious disease doctor, I was overcome not only by the tragic loss of life, but also by the inability to find the “magic bullet” to help prevent these deaths.

Like many of my colleagues, I devoted my time to caring for my patients and to research. I am proud to say that many of the successful antiretroviral treatments (ART) that were developed emerged from San Francisco General.

HIV/AIDS treatment was then, and remains today, a true game-changer in saving lives. In the early 1990s, we made unprecedented progress in addressing AIDS in the United States by putting people on treatment.

Yet, when I traveled to Africa in the mid-1990s, I was devastated to see what was happening there. AIDS was literally destroying an entire generation, and eroding the very foundation of many African nations. At that time, 85% of the burden of disease was in sub-Saharan Africa and less than 5% of the treatment capability was there.

Source: CNN (link opens in a new window)

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