Monday, July 18, 2016

END OF AIDS - Getting to Zero

"San Francisco’s bold AIDS mission is ‘getting to zero’ by 2030" PBS NewsHour 7/11/2016


SUMMARY:  There’s still no vaccine and no cure, but the medical community is increasingly focused on ambitious plans to bring about an end to HIV/AIDS.  The NewsHour launches its series, “The End of AIDS?” with a look at intense prevention efforts underway in one of the cities most impacted by the epidemic, San Francisco.  William Brangham reports with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  Now we kick off a special series about efforts to try to end the AIDS epidemic.

Leaders and researchers from around the globe will be meeting at the International AIDS Conference in South Africa next week.  One major focus:  How to stop the epidemic.

But with no vaccine or cure in sight, how likely is that?  This week, we’re looking at efforts around the world.

We start in San Francisco, where we have followed people for the past six months.

Correspondent William Brangham and producer Jason Kane reported this series, with the support of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM (NewsHour):  San Francisco’s gay pride events went off this summer like they usually do, loud and colorful and celebratory.

But there’s additional reason to celebrate.  San Francisco, one of the cities where the AIDS epidemic first emerged, and one that suffered terribly from it, has now launched the country’s most ambitious campaign to control it.

It’s called, “Getting to Zero.”

Luis Canales is a living example of that campaign.  Canales is HIV-positive.  He got infected having unprotected sex with another man three years ago.  But — and this is one of the linchpins of San Francisco’s effort — Canales was tested and then started on HIV treatment immediately after diagnosis.

LUIS CANALES (AIDS victim):  Yes, right away.  And I think it was the next day, I came in and started my meds.

DR.  STEVEN DEEKS, University of California, San Francisco:  That, as a physician, is my goal:  To keep people on therapy for their own good.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM:  Steven Deeks is Canales’ doctor.

DR.  STEVEN DEEKS:  Luis, how you doing?

LUIS CANALES:  Pretty good.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM:  This approach is called RAPID.

And Deeks says, the sooner the virus can be stopped with antiretroviral drugs, the better.  But it’s not just for the patient.

DR.  STEVEN DEEKS:  From a public health perspective — and I think this is what’s really driving a lot of interest in the RAPID program — someone’s on therapy, they can’t pass the virus to other people.

"Why the South is the epicenter of the AIDS crisis in America" PBS NewsHour 7/12/2016


SUMMARY:  The epicenter of the AIDS epidemic in America is Atlanta and the southeast, and among the hardest hit populations are gay and bisexual black men.  According to the CDC, half of them will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetimes if current trends continue.  William Brangham reports with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in the second part of the NewsHour’s “The End of AIDS?” series.

COMMENT:  For Atlanta, the problem is based on - you're black and in a fundamentalist Bible-belt.  It IS predjustice.

"‘Ending AIDS' in New York means finding the most vulnerable" PBS NewsHour 7/13/2016


SUMMARY:  Nearly one in 10 Americans living with HIV live in New York, where an ambitious plan aims to cut new infections and HIV-related deaths.  But it has serious challenges, including keeping people on their meds, and stopping the spread among IV drug users.  William Brangham reports with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in the third installment of our “The End of AIDS?” series.

"How Rwanda, once torn by genocide, became a global anti-AIDS leader" PBS NewsHour 7/14/2016


SUMMARY:  Rwanda emerged from its 1994 genocide to build one of the most successful AIDS responses in Africa and is working mightily to halt mother-to-child HIV transmissions.  They’ve done it with a mix of science, technology and “aggressive neighborliness.”  William Brangham reports with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for the fourth part of our series, “The End of AIDS?”

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