A Founding Father.
It’s been a year since your book Lethal Decisions. The Unnecessary Deaths of Women and Children from HIV/AIDS was published. I am wondering what kind of response you have received. I have experienced two different emotions after reading the book. Clearly the first part is about the amazing contributions of science to discovering a new disease, finding a way to diagnose it, and then developing treatment that could treat the viral infection and prevent new infections. I know that in your book you emphasized the significance of the 1994 discovery that treating HIV-infected pregnant women reduced infection of their infants by 60%. But newer studies are equally dramatic showing that individuals who are HIV-infected are less likely to transmit the virus to a sexual partner if they are on treatment that reduces the viral load. Additionally, if the drug is taken regularly by an uninfected sexual partner, HIV infection can be prevented. The second part of your book was discouraging―you documented how academic and bureaucratic institutions actually contributed to the delayed implementation of treatment and prevention discoveries in poor countries. Have individuals in these disciplines challenged you?. What are you hearing back?
By Benjamin Rush