The International AIDS Conference is going on in Washington this week. Two articles caught my attention, and kept it, regarding the struggle against this still deadly disease which continues to be an epidemic in certain cities, including the one in which I live, Washington, D.C.
This morning, Dan Zak has an article in the Washington Post about how the disease and, more importantly, socio-cultural reactions to the disease, have changed since D.C.’s first conference on AIDS on April 4, 1983. Then, scientists had not really discovered much about HIV/AIDS, still less devised the current regimen of medicines that can largely control its lethality. Zak tells the tale of John Willig who spoke at the 1983 conference about his disease, how he and his partner thought that surely they would overcome it, but that Willig actually died three years later. Then, AIDS was a death sentence.