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Reggie Jackson of Prevention Works, a needle exchange program that focuses on preventing the spread of HIV, talks during an interview in the Trinidad section of Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008. (AP)

Reggie Jackson of Prevention Works, a needle exchange program that focuses on preventing the spread of HIV, talks during an interview in the Trinidad section of Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008. (AP)

The public health headlines out of Washington, D.C. echoed around the world yesterday.

The HIV/AIDS rate in the U.S. capital is higher than in West Africa. On par with Uganda. At three percent, we learned, the capital’s infection rate now approaches the rate of San Francisco at the height of the AIDS scare. And this when many Americans have come to see HIV/AIDS as a monster that’s been tamed.

What do the new Washington numbers really mean, for the capital and the country? Who’s sick, and why?

This hour, On Point: HIV/AIDS in D.C., and across the nation, now.

You can join the conversation. Did you think the AIDS epidemic was behind us? Is it, in your community? Your state? What’s the meaning of the numbers from the District of Columbia?

Guests:

Joining us from Washington is Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Washington Post. His front-page story on Sunday reported on the new HIV/AIDS numbers released by the District yesterday. And today he reports that the reported 3 percent rate is likely too low. He wrote a year-long series on HIV/AIDS in the nation’s capital in 2006, and he’s the screenwriter and co-producer of a forthcoming documentary based on his HIV/AIDS reporting, called “The Other City.”

Also from Washington, we’re joined by Shannon Hader, senior deputy director of the District of Columbia Department of Health, HIV/AIDS Administration, which yesterday released its report (pdf) finding that 3 percent of the District’s residents are living with HIV/AIDS. Previously she led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) work in Zimbabwe, and helped coordinate the 2007 HIV Implementers Meeting in Rwanda, the first worldwide meeting of its kind.

And joining us from New York is Phill Wilson, founder and executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, a group dedicated to ending AIDS in African-American communities. From 1990 to 1993, he served as the AIDS Coordinator for the City of Los Angeles and worked as the director of policy and planning at AIDS Project Los Angeles from 1993 to 1996.

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 30, 2015
A stele and flowers laid in memory of the victims are placed in the area where the Germanwings jetliner crashed in the French Alps, in Le Vernet, France, Friday, March 27, 2015. The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountain, which killed all 150 people aboard, has raised questions about the mental state of the co-pilot. (AP)

The pilot who crashed his plane in the Alps. What we know now. And what to do about pilots’ psychological health.

Mar 30, 2015
Sweet Briar College, an all-women's liberal arts college in Virginia, announced in early 2015 that it would unexpectedly close its doors at the end of the school year. (Courtesy Sweet Brian College)

Fareed Zakaria weighs the value of a liberal arts education in our technology-driven time.

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Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

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