The world has made remarkable advances during the past decades in the fight against AIDS. When access to effective treatment is available, an HIV diagnosis is no longer a death sentence. Numerous organizations have led the way in reversing the trend of the epidemic in many of the worst-affected countries, turning what was once considered one of the biggest global health crises into a more manageable condition.
An interview with U.S. ambassador-at large Deborah Birx will explore global leaders’ strategies to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. The free event is hosted by the UCLA Center for World Health, the UCLA Burkle Center and the UCLA Health and Human Rights Law Project with the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.
Experts suspect the world possesses a small window to end the AIDS epidemic in the next decade or it will overcome our ability to contain it. Nearly 50,000 people are infected with HIV in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the 1.2 million people living in the U.S. with HIV, nearly 13 percent of them are unaware they are infected. AIDS remains a major cause of death in the U.S.; 13,712 people diagnosed with HIV died in 2012.
Worldwide, the statistics remain staggering. In 2014, 2 million people were diagnosed with HIV, adding to the estimated 36.9 million people living with the disease. Every year, 380,000 adolescent girls and young women in the world are infected with HIV — more than 1,000 per day. Some 1.2 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2014, and about 39 million people worldwide have died of AIDS-related causes since the epidemic began.
The following individuals are available for interviews.
Dr. Deborah Birx is the Global AIDS Coordinator at the U.S. State Department and an ambassador-at-large, or U.S. diplomat of the highest rank. She supervises the implementation of President Obama’s emergency plan for AIDS relief (PEPFAR) and oversees the U.S. government’s involvement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Birx will address this pivotal moment in the global response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the role of PEPFAR in translating the vision of an AIDS-free generation into action.
Thomas Coates is the director of the UCLA Center for World Health and a leading authority on domestic and international public polices related to AIDS and HIV. He co-directs the University of California’s Global Health Institute and is the Michael and Sue Steinberg Endowed Professor of Global AIDS Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Terry McCarthy will interview Birx with Coates. He is the president and CEO of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, the largest foreign affairs forum in Southern California. Previously a journalist, he was a four-time Emmy Award-winning foreign correspondent for CBS News and ABC News, and the former Los Angeles bureau chief for Time magazine.
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016
Formal program: 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Interview opportunity: 12:45 – 1:30 p.m.
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Tamkin Auditorium, B-level 757 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles (map)
Oversized TV trucks should park on Gayley Avenue on the yellow curb behind the hospital. Journalists arriving in passenger vehicles may use the valet parking in front of the hospital. Please RSVP to the media contact by 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 3 to reserve a complementary pass.
Elaine Schmidt, UCLA Health Sciences Media Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org; 310-794-2272 (office) or 310-597-5767 (cell)