Earlier this week, troubled actor Charlie Sheen announced that he is HIV positive. Charlie now joins the 1 million Americans and nearly 40 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS. He also joins a small list of celebrities -- NBA star Earvin "Magic" Johnson, professional tennis player Arthur Ashe, Olympic diver Greg Louganis, fellow actor Danny Pintauro, and a handful of others -- who have gone public with their diagnoses.

3/6/14 Panel

Mar 6, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Publisher Emeritus of The Daily Freeman, Ira Fusfeld, and University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao.

Topics include:
Ukraine Diplomacy
Clinton - Hitler
SAT Changes
Oscar Pistorius
Alzheimer's Toll
HIV Baby

The Democratic candidate in a mayoral race in New York’s Columbia County alleges his opponent has attacked his HIV status rather than focusing on more substantive issues. The incumbent Republican mayor tells a different story.

It is being called a major development and a milestone in the 30 year fight against HIV and AIDS. A new drug called Truvada, a medicine that can help prevent the transmission of HIV. For more on this drug, WAMC’s Brian Shields spoke to Dr. Douglas Fish, an associate professor of medicine at Albany Medical College, and chief of the Division of HIV Medicine.


An estimated 34 million people around the world are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Most of these individuals live in developing countries, but approximately 1.2 million Americans are infected. At least of third of those living with HIV/AIDS in the US are unaware of their status.

The state is plans to cut back HIV testing and education spending in jails. Over $1 million dollars have been eliminated from programs in houses of correction.

Kevin Cranston, director of the state Bureau of Infectous Disease, says that due to the tight budget, the state is making cuts they believe will have the least amount of impat.

State prisons will be spared the cuts. Cranston also says that not all HIV programs in county jails will be eliminated.  

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1980s, at a time when HIV/AIDS was decimating the gay community. AIDS has since been rendered a chronic but manageable illness with the development of effective antiviral drugs (at least for those who can afford them), but at that time a diagnosis of AIDS was considered to be a death sentence.