Monday, June 5, 2017

36 Years Ago Monday -- And A Look Back To A November 2010 Post: HIV History

It was 36 long years ago, this morning, as I was starting one last summer in the hard rock mines, and preparing to head east, to enter law school, in Chicago -- that an official weekly report from the US Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta happened to detail the oddly clustered cases of five men in Los Angeles, afflicted with a rare form of pneumonia, and a rare form of skin cancer, called Kaposi's sarcoma. This would be the first official clinical recognition of a set of repeating symptoms that would later be named AIDS -- and then, traced to a virus, ultimately named HIV.

While so much has happened in the intervening history of the public funding for, and reaction to, that fraught disease -- much still needs to be done. To be sure, for over a decade, it has been quite a survivable diagnosis (at least in post-industrial geographies), with proper early medical intervention, and access to extremely expensive treatments, like Merck's Isentress®. [The image at right is derived, and updated, from this November 2010 AIDS activism post -- addressing the plight so much of the rest of the world still faces, in HIV.]

I just wanted to use this moment's passing -- to remind all assembled here that science can conquer even our most dread scourges -- but doing so takes real money. Real money, and sound thinking, from policy-makers.

In 2017, it is (as just one example) a national disgrace that Texas holds the highest maternal childbirth mortality rate, in the developed world.

We need sensible, and comprehensive health care delivery and reimbursement policy -- not clap-trap and non-sense from our elected President. A tweaked ObamaCare 2.0 style system, along the lines proposed by Senator Cassidy, from Louisiana (i.e., passing the "Kimmel test") -- may be at least one imperfect but plausible way forward. We shall see -- g'night. . . .

Be better -- much better -- to all you meet tomorrow -- better than you need to be, as the luminous but clear dawn rises. I flat-out dare you.


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