The very, very exciting news of the week is about the so-called London Patient who is, for all intents and purposes, cured of HIV. Doctors and researchers closest to the case are wary to use that term, preferring “remission” instead of “cure”.
I have been working in HIV education, testing, and advocacy since 2001 or so. I am an optimist by nature, but in thinking back to the dark ages, I am not sure I would have believed that we would see this in our lifetimes. And thank goodness we have!
I am hopeful that we can talk about a true, wide-spread cure for all who are living with HIV. In the meantime, let’s deploy what we know works. Let’s strengthen health systems and fight for equality (as HIV affects minorities and the impoverished at far greater rates than would be expected based on population alone). This push for equality extends to immigration, ensuring rights and freedoms to LGBTQ populations and to women, and to holding our government accountable.
In another bright spot, this article highlights the results of a home HIV testing and subsequent treatment program in Southern Africa. Check out the reductions in new infections! I love community-based programs. They work!
Are you interested in learning more about HIV? The Invisible Cure is a great read that focuses on activism to boot!
Finally, big congrats to my colleagues at PIVOT! This article highlights their great, data-driven work that has had some amazing results. I worked at PIVOT a few years ago on a leadership training. I am delighted to see old friends in the pictures in the articles!