An ongoing dialogue on HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases,
August 8th, 2012
Must-Read Piece: “Imagine a World Without AIDS”
Ironically, the attention the meeting received was inversely proportional to its scientific content, which was actually fairly light on a content-per-day scale. The meeting probably could have been condensed into 3 days, at least as far as the research findings go.
Regardless, I’d challenge you to find anything better on the topic of how much has changed in HIV care than Danielle Offri’s “Imagine a World Without AIDS,” published the week of the conference in the New York Times.
Dr. Offri did her residency in the early 1990s — I wrote about that grim period here — and worked at Bellevue in NYC, so certainly saw the US epidemic at its absolute worst:
The utter relentlessness of the disease pummeled the doctors-in-training as well. It felt as if we were slogging knee-deep in death, with a horizon that was a monochrome of despair. Witnessing your own generation dying off is not for the faint of heart… If you’d grabbed a random intern toward the end of my residency in 1995, and asked her if she could envision the headline “The Beginning of the End of AIDS” in less than 20 years, she would have simply stared uncomprehendingly at you with bleary eyes.
Bottom line is that if you’re a fan of great writing, do yourself a favor and read the full piece.