Smart Talk: Health experts discuss AIDS stigma, treatment and more

The global event marks 30 year anniversary


World AIDS Day takes place on the first day of December each year, and this year the recognition falls on Saturday.

World AIDS Day is intended to give people worldwide an opportunity to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to remember those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

AIDS is still considered an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and world health organizations. An epidemic occurs when there is an increase in cases of a disease above what is expected in a population area. AIDS infections continue to occur at an alarming rate, worldwide and in the U.S. Statistics from the CDC and indicate:

  • An estimated 1.8 million people worldwide became newly infected with HIV in 2017 — about 5,000 new infections per day.
  • More than 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV today, and 1 in 7 of them don’t know it.
  • In 2015, an estimated 1,170 adults and adolescents were diagnosed with HIV in Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania ranked 10th among the 50 states in the number of HIV diagnoses in 2015, the most recent statistics.

Appearing on Smart Talk to discuss advances in HIV treament and prevention were Rosemary Browne, president and CEO, Alder Health Services and Dr. Jarrett Sell, family medicine physician, Penn State Health and medical director, Alder Health Services.

Key Points: 

:10 – World AIDS Day

3:50 – Impression there is a cure; what has changed with treatment

7:50 – Treatment compliance

14:40 – Stigma

19:20 – Ripple effect of opioid crisis

19:56 – HIV is everywhere

22:48 – Letha’s story

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