Preserving The Stories Of The 'HIV Pioneers'

Jul 17, 2018

The AIDS Memorial Quilt on display in Washington, D.C. in 2012.
Credit Elvert Barnes / Creative Commons

According to the United Nations, more people are living with HIV than have died since the epidemic began in the 1980s. There have been large medical and social advances for those diagnosed with HIV and AIDS. But many of those early researchers, advocates and survivors are nearing the end of their lives. 

Wendee Wechsberg collected 29 firsthand accounts of the early days of the epidemic in “HIV Pioneers: Lives Lost, Careers Changed, and Survival” (Johns Hopkins University Press/2018). Wechsberg edited the book. She’s the director and principal researcher of the Substance Use, Gender, and Applied Research Program at RTI International. She’s also the founding director of the Global Gender Center.

Guest host Anita Rao talks to Wechsberg about the importance of preserving this stories and the lessons that can be learned from them. Dr. Charles van der Horst joins the conversation. He contributed to the book, and he is an emeritus professor in medicine and infectious diseases at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He writes a regular column for The Herald Sun in Durham.