Monday, January 16, 2012

Welcome to Know The Status

In the summer of 1981, an unknown pop singer named Madonna began playing in New York City clubs, a new cable channel devoted to music videos, MTV, went on the air, and the first reports of the disease now known as AIDS appeared in the scientific literature.

This summer, over thirty years later, Washington, DC will host the
XIX International AIDS Conference
. Some 20,000 HIV/AIDS researchers, clinicians, educators, and activists will attend this meeting. Among them will be a group of undergraduates from Davidson College. During the Spring semester, we will be preparing ourselves for this conference. We will read and discuss primary journal articles in a chronological fashion, beginning with the MMWR article published in June of 1981. We also will investigate other aspects of the AIDS pandemic. We will look at the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, both in the US and abroad. We will study US governmental responses, like PEPFAR and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. We will investigate the effects of HIV/AIDS on women and injection drug users. We will discuss the role of the pharmaceutical industry and the need for affordable access to antiretroviral drugs.

During the semester, we will be posting here on a regular basis, chronically our developing understanding of HIV/AIDS. And we want you to join us in our journey. We welcome and encourage your comments. We want to know what you think. We want to hear about your experiences. We want to enter into a dialog with you.

Please also follow us also on Twitter. Members of our class will tweet with the hashtag #BIO363. We hope to create a community of parties with disparate interests in HIV/AIDS. With your help, we can learn more about this pandemic.