Battling HIV/AIDS

The Wheeling Intelligencer

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Washington, December 29, 2019 | comments

Word of Democrats and Republicans working together is unlikely to make headlines in any news outlet these days, but while political cooperation may not seem so newsworthy, the hard work of advocates and legislators alike deserves recognition nonetheless.

Earlier this month, both the U.S. House and Senate passed resolutions in support of the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria, an international partnership that has helped save over 16 million lives and cut the mortality rate for HIV in half. Quite proudly, Congressman David McKinley along with both Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin co-sponsored these measures.

As we await more budget action in Congress, I reflect back on my career as an infectious diseases physician in West Virginia.

When I came to work at WVU Hospital as a faculty member in the mid-1980s, HIV had not yet been identified as the cause of AIDS. With no effective treatments for the disease, patients died within months. This lack of understanding also contributed to intense societal stigma that branded AIDS patients.

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