This is the official discussion thread for the December 2006 episode - The Changing Face of AIDS.
This December In the Life presents "The Changing Face of AIDS," As a way of marking the 25th year of HIV AIDS, In the Life returns to its archives to revisit stories that highlight the changing face of this disease.
"The State of AIDS," takes us back to 1996, a crucial turning point in HIV AIDS treatment where In the Life covered the promise and hope of the first anti-retroviral drugs. Find out what HIV specialists predicted for the disease, how activism was changing to keep up with it, and how protease inhibitors gave one man a chance to dream again.
"Aging with AIDS" Does HIV AIDS alter the aging process? Does the virus make certain diseases more likely to take hold or more difficult to treat? In the early days of the epidemic, few in the medical world contemplated the issue of growing old with this disease but effective drug treatments have made this a compelling new subject to tackle. Two years ago In the Life met with some HIV positive patients who were the early pioneers entering middle and old age. Their experiences may provide crucial clues to researchers.
"Crossing Borders" 8 Years ago In the Life traveled to the border crossing between San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico, one of the busiest crossroads in the world. It’s a place where commerce, prostitution, and an illicit drug market intersect, making it an ideal location for the potential transmission of HIV. In this next segment you will witness a remarkable grassroots organization in Tijuana, called ACOSIDA. In 1989, eight years into the AIDS epidemic, this group, operating on a shoestring budget initiated an inventive way to get vital medication to those in need.
"High Anxiety" The drug Crystal Meth became a hit in the gay community beginning in 1996 at the very moment when the anti-retroviral medications for HIV AIDS were dramatically extending lives. Also known as "Tina" and "Red Neck Cocaine" this drug is extremely cheap, easily accessible and highly addictive. It can increase the risk of HIV AIDS by erasing sexual inhibitions and creating physiological changes in the body that make transmission of the virus easier. Last year In the Life met with four gay men who describe the extreme highs and lows of this drug and their precarious struggles to leave it behind.
"CDC Funding Issues" What happens when a creative approach to AIDS prevention falls out of favor with the government? Key sources of funding can suddenly disappear. Three years ago, In the Life featured a community based operation in San Francisco, known as the "Stop AIDS Project" as it struggled with this dilemma.