The fight against AIDS, 30 years on

June 9, 2011

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AIDS patients crowd a clinic in Malawi.

Thirty years ago the Center for Disease Control issued a report identifying what would be called the HIV/AIDS virus. The disease has been raging across the planet ever since. Today, more than a million and half people die from AIDS each year.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for universal access to treatment within five years. He recently spoke at a high-level meeting on AIDS at the UN in New York. Ban also set the ambitious goal of an AIDS-free world in 10 years. That means no new infections, discrimination, or AIDS-related deaths.

Joining us is Stephen Lewis who is attending the UN meeting on New York. The former Canadian diplomat worked with the UN for more that two decades and was UN Special envoy for AIDS in Africa for five years. Since that time he’s co-founded the advocacy group AIDS Free World.

Brad Ogilvie, the program coordinator for William Penn House in Washington D.C., also joins the conversation. Diagnosed with HIV in 1992, Ogilvie was an early pioneer in AIDS activism here in Chicago. For 15 years he worked with Chicagoans affected by HIV and AIDS. He also founded The Mosaic Initiative, an HIV prevention organization based out in Wheaton.