HIV in Africa – A Conversation with Former HHS Secretary Louis Sullivan

Last week the Bush Administration announced that it would be seeking a doubling of the U.S. commitment to fund HIV/AIDS care.  That evening, ABC World News Tonight ran a story on the request and compared before and after photographs of people with AIDS in Africa who had been on the brink of death, appearing completely restored.  The photos were astonishing. 

Dr20sullivan20photo20standing20behiDr. Louis Sullivan, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 1989 to 1993, served at a time when there were no treatments for HIV outside of AZT and a few other related medications.  He is the president emeritus of the Morehouse School of Medicine where he served as president from 1981 until 1989.  As Secretary of HHS and since that time, he has traveled extensively throughout Africa.

During our discussion, we focused first on HIV prevention efforts in Africa, and whether or not it is backsliding.  We then talked about the impact of efforts through PEPFAR and the Clinton Foundation in expanding access to treatment in Africa.  Lastly we discussed the future and whether or not expensive research and development can be sustained with the disease burden so heavily weighted in the developing world.  The podcast lasts about 12 minutes. 

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