(Alexa Stankovic/AFP/Getty)

Thirty years ago this Sunday, epidemiologists identified the disease that would later be known as AIDS. Since then, 30 million have died of AIDS. We look back on the last 30 years of AIDS science, medicine and prevention efforts, and look forward to the best hopes of finding a cure.

Guests:
Grant Colfax, director of HIV prevention and research for the San Francisco Department of Public Health AIDS Office
Stephen LeBlanc, board member of the AIDS Policy Project
Steven Deeks, professor of medicine at UCSF and faculty member in the Positive Health Program at San Francisco General Hospital
Jeff Sheehy, HIV patient advocate and board member of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine

  • Djdehner

    I have been infected for over 22 years and thank God I’m still here. The term “cocktail” seems to me to be an insidious LIE promoted by the drug manufacturers that nullifies the serious nature of this disease and unsafe practices. WHY do I still hear this term in use when in the common dialogue, especially here in the Castro, one can hear almost anywhere “Oh, if I get it I’ll just get “the cocktail”?!?!?!  Perhaps this is the LEADING cause for new cases showing up in medical offices not with an HIV diagnosis but rather Opportunistic Infections.

    David Dehner
    415.816.2490

  • Djdehner

    I have been infected for over 22 years and thank God I’m still here. The
    term “cocktail” seems to me to be an insidious LIE promoted by the drug
    manufacturers that nullifies the serious nature of this disease and
    unsafe practices. WHY do I still hear this term in use when in the
    common dialogue, especially here in the Castro, one can hear almost
    anywhere “Oh, if I get it I’ll just get “the cocktail”?!?!?!  Perhaps
    this is the LEADING cause for new cases showing up in medical offices
    not with an HIV diagnosis but rather Opportunistic Infections.

    David Dehner

    415.816.2490

  • Chris Tipton-King

    There was a recent SF Department of Health study which showed that 45% of gay men in San Francisco (and rising) have anal sex without condoms. If the message of HIV prevention for the last 30 years has been “always use a condom,” isn’t there a big disparity between the message and what people are actually doing? Should the message expand to include prevention methods beyond condoms, like post-exposure prophylaxis etc…, or would that be seen as endorsing risky behavior?

    The key conflict to me seems to be between harm reduction strategies (as is the practice among San Francisco agencies) and fear-based strategies (“people aren’t afraid enough!”), which stigmatize HIV positive people and have generally been shown to be ineffective.

    I’m working on a documentary about this topic and I would like to invite today’s Forum participants, and the gay community at large, to participate in the conversation. If you’d like to be part of the project, please visit www.ctkfilm.com and drop me an email. Thank you!

    -Chris Tipton-King, Cinema Grad Student at San Francisco State University

    858.212.1037

  • Scientist

    Hi David,
     
    You make a very good point about thew terminology and its connotations. Unfortunately, the word cocktail is a commonly used convention in the scientific community. It is used to describe any mixture of items that are combined together in the lab or clinic. It is used much in the same way that we used the term “spiked” to indicate that we’ve added a new reagent or compound into a pre-existing mixture. I hope this sheds some light on the origin of usage.

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