Health

Life with HIV: Success without a Cure?

Sophisticated drug cocktails have dramatically changed the fates of people with HIV. Yet in many ways we’re treading water.

Episode 194 | December 16, 2014

Thirty years ago an HIV diagnosis was a death sentence. Today, sophisticated drug cocktails known as highly active antiretroviral therapy, or HAART, have dramatically changed the fates of people with the disease. 

Yet in many ways we’re treading water: each year the U.S. sees around 50,000 new HIV cases, and estimates show that 20–25% of these people don’t know they’re infected. And, while the drugs are effective, many people throughout the world can’t afford them.

So should we consider our response to HIV a complete success story? This episode of Distillations tries to find the answer.

Our journey begins in San Francisco’s Castro District, the epicenter of the city’s HIV epidemic in the 1980s. Reporter Andrew Bowen talks to AIDS activist Tez Anderson, who started an organization to combat AIDS Survivor Syndrome.

Then we talk to Dr. Mark W. Kline and Andrew P. Rice, a physician and a virologist who have been working on HIV since the 1980s, and ask them if we can claim victory.

Credits

Hosts: Michal Meyer and Bob Kenworthy
Guests: Dr. Mark W. Kline and Andrew P. Rice
Reporter: Andrew Bowen
Producer and Editor: Mariel Carr
Music: Courtesy of Audio Network

We recorded our conversation with Dr. Mark W. Kline and Andrew P. Rice during CHF’s 2014 Chao Symposium, “Can We Meet the Challenge of HIV/AIDS?” Special thanks to Houston Public Media for hosting us in their studio.