PBS’ ‘NewsHour with Jim Lehrer’ Discusses Conference Findings with Piot, Thurman
PBS' "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" yesterday featured an interview with UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot and International AIDS Trust President Sandra Thurman about recent findings presented at the XIV International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Spain, on the expansion of the pandemic and HIV infection increases among certain groups, such as young people, women, African Americans and men who have sex with men. "Experts have predicted several times since the 1980s that we had reached or that we were close to reaching a plateau of new infections, and unfortunately they've always been wrong. Every year we've got the report at UNAIDS that more people are being infected, and the virus is now spreading in about every single country in the world, and it's simple: This is the worst epidemic in human history and we don't know yet where this will end," Piot said. Piot and Thurman also discussed the cost of fighting AIDS worldwide and problems with access to HIV/AIDS treatments in developing countries. Thurman said that "there's just no opportunity" for poor countries to purchase or gain access to HIV drugs and that treatment efforts should focus on distributing "basic drugs" to treat opportunistic infections and nevirapine to prevent vertical transmission, as well as building health care infrastructures and drug distribution systems. "When we look at the fact that we live in a global society, if the promise of science doesn't have application to all people who live in a global society in the same global economy, then there's something wrong with that," Thurman said. A transcript of the segment is available online.
The full segment is available in RealPlayer Audio online (Ifill, "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," PBS, 7/8).