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Loraine Ballard Morrill

Imagine a World Without AIDS

 
Posted June 18th, 2014 @ 3:50pm

Imagine a world without AIDS.  If you asked me to do that as recently as last year - I might have told you this was a goal that probably wouldn't happen in my lifetime.   How times have changed!  Researchers are investigating treatments that apparently eliminated the virus in an HIV infected infant.  There is a new intervention - a drug called Truvada  - the first drug to prevent HIV infections in uninfected high risk individuals if they take the drug before and after exposure. 

These were just a few of the exciting facts I heard as I emceed Philadelphia FIGHT'S 15th Annual Prevention and Outreach Summit.  We heard from extraordinary speakers like Paul Kawata, Executive Director of the National Minority AIDS Council and  Professor Farid Esack  a South African activist and scholar.

Despite all the encouraging news Philadelphia FIGHT Executive Director Jane Shull tempered the optimism with a dash of reality.  She quoted my good friend David Fair - who was the First Director of the City's AIDS Activities Coordinating Office who said, "HIV is a virus but it's spread by poverty, inequity and despair." Until we address these issues with thoughtful policies, adequate funding and political will - a world without AIDS may yet remain elusive.  

Philadelphia FIGHT (FIGHT) is a comprehensive AIDS service organization providing primary care, consumer education, advocacy and research on potential treatments and vaccines.  To find out more go to http://fight.org/

Follow me on Twitter @loraineballard

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