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How AIDS Ends
Global Health Fellow Ambassador Mark Dybul contributed the chapter “Hope In A Time of HIV” to the anthology How AIDS Ends. Here is an excerpt from Ambassador Dybul:
The good news is the last 30 years has seen dramatic, historic progress driven by individuals and communities who dared to love those in need and hope the deaths could be stopped and new infections could be prevented. Like the Black Death, at the beginning they did not know if they were risking their lives by bringing some measure of dignity to those who were abandoned and suffering, but they were propelled by the higher angels of the human spirit. Unlike during the Black Death, scientific advances have married with hope and love to carry us to the point where an end to the HIV epidemic might be in our grasp. All plagues and their end are human stories of hope, redemption, love, and even forgiveness. What follows are a few poignant stories from my experiences that have inspired me. Although I began my formal work on HIV as a fourth-year medical student with Dr. Marcus Conant amid the epidemic in gay men, I was drawn to HIV because of the global epidemic, specifically in Africa, and it was through Dr. Tony Fauci and the National Institutes of Health that I could focus on that passion. So these are stories from Africa. It is heartening to know that similar tales could be told from around the world wherever the human spirit thrives.
This post was written by Ambassador Mark Dybul, a distinguished scholar at the O’Neill Institute for Global and National Health Law, a Georgetown University and Inaugural Global Health Fellow at the George W. Bush Institute. He was the US Global AIDS Coordinator from 2006 to 2009. He is the incoming Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.