This piece is adapted from Dr. Paul Farmer's foreword to the paperback edition of Love is the Cure: on Life, Loss and the End of AIDS by Sir Elton John out this week from Little Brown.
Thirty years after the advent of the AIDS epidemic, what have we learned about this disease and about ourselves as human beings?
On the first score, there's cause for optimism about the power of scientific advancements and the potential for a new view of global health and clinical medicine. Three decades after the first cases of AIDS were reported, we have identified the virus that causes the syndrome and can block its replication. We have developed, and continue to improve, tools to diagnose and treat the disease. Astoundingly, we have delivered some of these advances to millions of the poorest and sickest people in the world -- in Africa, in Haiti, in the remotest corners of Asia.
But anyone wondering why, despite these advancements, there are still so many people living with HIV/AIDS today should look to the work of Elton John AIDS Foundation and others aiming to fight stigma in the battle to eradicate HIV/AIDS. Settings as diverse as the rural South in the United States, Haiti, South Africa, and Ukraine are the frontlines of the AIDS crisis today. From the work in these settings around the world, we begin to see solutions emerge.
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