This Friday is World AIDS Day, which has been observed on Dec. 1 since its inception in 1988. The '80s were the peak of the AIDS crisis and all of the stigmas and misinformation that came with it, but by the end of the decade, World AIDS Day was instituted to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and show support to those living with HIV.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS reports there were approximately 36.7 million people living with HIV globally in 2016, and the disease was equally spread between both sexes. Last year, there were one million deaths from AIDS reported by the UN.
Dr. Yeneneh Desta is the regional medical director for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. He went to medical school in Ethiopia and, following his residency, was a fellow in infectious disease at Jackson Health Systems Miami and in HIV at the University of Miami. He has been treating HIV patients mainly since 2012.
Dr. Desta joins Gulf Coast Live to talk more about his last four years working at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Fort Myers office.
Also joining the show is Jeanmanno Titus, the HIV/AIDS program coordinator for Southwest Florida with the Florida Department of Health.