June 5, 2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the first AIDS case report and the outbreak of the American AIDS epidemic. In a new document that provokes reflections on the New England Journal of Medicine, Professor Ronald Bayer and co-author Gerald Oppenheiner capture the experiences of physicians who were central to the AIDS epidemic. In the words of doctors, they convey what it meant to look back after 40 years and how they “aged together”.
Doctors described their experiences as extraordinary and the demanding conditions in which they performed their duties and treated their patients. They talk about their work as “in the trenches,” giving their careers an immediate meaning and value they never expected. As several doctors put it, “The epidemic it changed me in almost every way possible. ”And for some, their lives in medicine were added to another extraordinary moment in world health: the COVID-19 epidemic.
Dr. Ronald Bayer, a professor of sociomedical sciences and co-director of the Center for History and Ethics of Public Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, focuses his research on issues of social justice and ethical issues related to AIDS, tuberculosis, illicit drugs and tobacco. Elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, he has served on its committees dealing with the social impact of these problems, in addition to vaccine safety and Ryan White Care Act. Dr. Bayer has been a consultant to the World Health Organization on ethical issues related to public health surveillance, HIV and tuberculosis.
The comment is titled “Marking the 40th Anniversary of the AIDS Epidemic: American Doctors Look Back.” A co-author is Valentina Parisi.
Citation: On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic: an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine (2021, June 2), retrieved June 2, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021 -06-40th-anniversary-aids- epidemic-paper.html
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