Chris Beyrer, MD, MPH: Evolving HIV Movements

February 23, 2021
Kevin Kunzmann

Kevin Kunzmann is the managing editor for Contagion, as well as its sister publication HCPLive. Prior to joining parent company MJH Life Sciences in 2017, he worked as a health care and government reporter for The Pocono Record, and as a freelance writer for NJ Advance Media, The Express-Times, The Daily Journal, and more. He graduated from Rowan University with a degree in journalism in 2015. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, running his dog, and complaining about the Mets. Follow him on Twitter @NotADoctorKevin or email him at [email protected]

Attention to the endemic virus has lessened over years, and screening and prevention access remains limited among the most at-risk groups.

As the epidemiology and geographical burdens of HIV have shifted in its fourth decade, the goals and strategies in place to combat the virus among the youngest populations must reflect the changes.

In the second segment of an interview with Contagion®, Chris Beyrer, MD, MPH, a professor of Public Health and Human Rights in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, discussed how HIV advocacy has transitioned from an extraordinary grassroots fundraising movement against “anemic funding,” to a push for costly treatment access in burdened regions and countries, and now to a place where its political and media standing is lessened.

“Where we are now is that HIV/AIDS has dropped off the US conversation,” Beyrer said. “But the epidemic has not gone away. It’s gotten worse in fact. It’s become an endemic infection among people in the South and Southeast.”

Along with sharing perspective on shifting messaging and education to meet younger at-risk population online, Beyrer discussed the goal of “closing the gap” on uninsured and underinsured access to means of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), HIV screening, and testing.

“The uptake remains low, and access remains a problem,” Beyrer said.