World AIDS Day

Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day, a day of solidarity in which individuals who are affected by HIV can share their stories and experiences, to remember those lost, and to highlight efforts on every front to end the HIV epidemic.Two College of Pharmacy faculty and two emeritus faculty members have been involved with advancing HIV research, as well as prevention and treatment of HIV – Dr. Daniel Chastain, Clinical Associate Professor on the Albany Campus; Dr. David Chu, Distinguished Research Professor and Emeritus in Athens; Dr. Brian Seagraves, Academic Professional Associate in Athens; and Dr. Keith Herist, Clinical Associate Professor Emeritus.  Dr. Chu has developed and patented numerous drugs active against HIV throughout his career.  Dr. Seagraves is affiliated with the Athens Nurses Clinic and Mercy Health Center in the provision of community care. Dr. Chastain is focused on multiple projects aimed at improving the use of antiretroviral therapies in hospitalized persons living with HIV. Additionally, he is the Chair-Elect for the American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s HIV PRN (twitter @accphivprn). Dr. Chastain offered an interesting perspective about World AIDS Day.  “I think it’s time we retire the stigmatizing word ‘AIDS’,” he remarked. “Technically, AIDS itself is not a condition. It is a range of conditions, or a syndrome, that occurs when a person’s immune system is weakened by the HIV infection.  However, ‘AIDS’ was previously used in an analogous manner to ‘terminal,’ but this is no longer the case due to significant advancements in modern treatment and prevention strategies. Most importantly, this year’s World AIDS Day theme, ‘Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice’ demonstrates the commitment to reducing health inequalities and reaching people who are not receiving essential HIV services.  We must address the persistent inequities and meet the needs of our most vulnerable populations to end the HIV epidemic across the globe.”

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