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A Bookworm Turned HIV Specialist, Meet Dr. Lisa Hightow-Weidman

Lisa Hightow-Weidman grew up with her nose always in a book. She majored in English in college and had aspirations of becoming a writer.

After a stint as an EMT, she decided to take her life in a different direction. Hightow-Weidman joined the Air Force to pay for medical school at the University of Virginia but was eventually honorably discharged when she was open about her sexuality. As a young medical student, she treated a gay man who had gone blind from HIV-related complications, and the incident became a turning point in her career.

Hightow-Weidman now brings her passion for understanding people and commitment to the LGBT community together in her job as an infectious diseases specialist. In her position at UNC-Chapel Hill, she helped discover that the HIV epidemic in the South was growing among young black men who have sex with men and designed behavioral interventions for individuals disproportionately affected by the disease. Host Frank Stasio talks with Dr. Lisa Hightow-Weidman, associate professor of medicine at the UNC Institute For Global Health and Infectious Disease and director of the BAT Lab (Behavior and Technology), about her life and career.​

This is a rebroadcast. The original air date was February 6, 2017.



Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.