Dr. Thomas Treadwell, a physician specializing in infectious diseases, vividly recalls the early days of HIV/AIDS and treating his first AIDS patients just days after the ‘outbreak’ was first accounted.
He recalls it as “a truly horrible time. We didn’t know what was causing the disease, and no treatment existed. Whatever was causing it was destroying the immune system, and it was killing people quickly.”
Since that time HIV/AIDS has claimed the lives of 30 million people worldwide, with scientific progress starting slow and breakthroughs made to combat it. Though a cure is still beyond our reach, the good news is we are catching up to it, with an end to the epidemic getting closer, but only if we continue to proactively practise safe sex and test frequently.
“As a physician who has treated HIV patients since the virus first appeared and who continues to do so, I cannot overemphasize the importance of testing. Physicians can’t treat a patient if he or she doesn’t know about the infection… Testing for HIV should today be regarded as a personal and public health necessity.”
To read Dr. Treadwell’s full account of HIV/AIDS then and now, click here.