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Quentin Tsang

Mon, 01/13/2020 - 13:18

Hi Marty,
This was an excellent summary. I found Dr. Perez's insights on both his expertise in HIV and infectious diseases and his journey to becoming a clinician-scientist to to be captivating.
Perhaps what stuck out to me the most during Grand Rounds and our post-rounds discussion is the impact of the stigma surrounding HIV on patients. While effective therapies exist to control the infection and allow patients to live "normally," the stigma is debilitating, isolating and can cause many mental health co-morbidities, such as depression. Dr. Perez mentions that this stigma may actually deter and prevent the highest risk populations from getting tested and treated for HIV. This causes countless lives lost when their conditions can be controlled.
In Western society, mainly North America and Europe, I believe that the stigma behind HIV is slowly being dismantled. However, in many developing countries, this stigma still plagues patients. As researchers and scientists in health sciences, I believe that we should also be advocates for breaking down the stigma behind HIV (and other conditions) and pioneer initiatives in developing countries to educate the general population about HIV and how the infection can be controlled. This may lead to stigma slowly being dissolved and lead to more at-risk groups getting tested and treated, and hopefully, obtaining the 90/90/90 principle that Dr. Perez says is key.

Quentin Tsang

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