March Physician Focus: HIV and AIDS

In a little more than three decades, medical science has taken HIV  infection from the prospect of certain death to a manageable, treatable condition.  Yet it remains a leading cause of illness and mortality in the U.S. and the world.

More than one million people in the U.S. now live with HIV, and about 16 percent of those do not know they are infected.  Some 50,000 new HIV infections occur each year, and 15,000 people die each year from AIDS. Worldwide, 34 million people are living with HIV, with about 2.5 million new cases a year.

The February edition of Physician Focus Today discusses the struggle with HIV and AIDS through the eyes of a physician who treated his first AIDS patient just days after the Centers for Disease Control on July 3, 1981 released its first report on a mysterious condition that was later to be identified as HIV.

Thomas Treadwell, M.D., (photo, right) Director of the Infectious Disease Clinic at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, recalls the early days of the AIDS epidemic, the medical community’s response, and how far we’ve come in treating this disease. Hosting the program is  primary care physician Bruce Karlin, M.D. (left).

The topics of conversation also include how the infection is treated, the importance of testing, and the public health benefits of treating patients.

Physician Focus is available for viewing on public access television stations throughout Massachusetts. It is also available online at,, and

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