PLEDGE NOW
AIDS in America
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.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 31, 2016
This 2006 colorized scanning electron micrograph image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the O157:H7 strain of the E. coli bacteria. On Wednesday, May 26, 2016, U.S. military officials reported the first U.S. human case of bacteria resistant to an antibiotic used as a last resort drug. The 49-year-old woman has recovered from an infection of E. coli resistant to colistin. But officials fear that if the resistance spreads to other bacteria, the country may soon see germs impervious to all antibiotics. (Janice Carr/CDC via AP)

A new superbug resistant to our antibiotic of last resort has shown up in the U.S. We look at the threat, and our dwindling antibiotic options.

May 31, 2016
In this July 31, 2015, file photo, an orca or killer whale breaches in view of Mount Baker, some 60 miles distant, in the Salish Sea in the San Juan Islands, Wash. ( (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

The end of orcas at SeaWorld, McDonald’s using cage-free eggs — should animal lovers be optimistic about a new “humane economy”?

RECENT
SHOWS
May 30, 2016
Rock icon Donald Fagen looks back on a lengthy and ongoing career in his new memoir 'Eminent Hipsters.' He co-founded the classic rock group Steely Dan with Walter Becker in 1972. (Penguin Books USA)

Steely Dan frontman Donald Fagen talks “eminent hipsters” and the cultural outliers that shaped his sound. He joins us.

 
May 30, 2016
Author and Harvard Business School social psychologist Amy Cuddy. (Photo by Bob O'Connor / Courtesy The Author)

Strike a power pose. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy on the power of presence when you’re ready to act and win.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Good Internet Comes To Those Who Wait
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Remember when we promised you a new website? We meant it.

More »
Comment
 
In The Garden, Mother Nature Makes The Rules
Friday, May 27, 2016

Executive producer Karen Shiffman explains why she turns to her garden for food, friends and natrual comfort.

More »
Comment
 
WWII Vet Larry Kirby Reflects On American Values
Thursday, May 26, 2016

Looking ahead to Memorial Day, a World War II veteran looks back at the experiences that mattered to him, both in and out of war.

More »
Comment