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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Harvard: World AIDS Day Symposium

The Harvard AIDS Initiative at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will host a World AIDS Day symposium on Thursday, December 1 entitled “HIV & Opioids: Crisis in Indiana, Boston, and Beyond.” In 2015, experts were caught off guard when an HIV epidemic exploded in a rural Indiana town. Prescription painkillers were being ground up and injected, often with shared needles, an easy route for HIV transmission. The U.S. is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,379 people died of an overdose in Massachusetts last year. The threat of another HIV outbreak among injection drug users looms, not only in the U.S., but around the world. The symposium will address the current opioid crisis and ways to limit or prevent future HIV outbreaks.

Speakers and their topics will include Dr. John T. Brooks, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Indiana HIV/HCV Outbreak: Implications for Prevention; Dr. Lisa J. Messersmith, Boston University School of Public Health, From Global to Local: Understanding and Addressing the Behavioral and Structural Vulnerability to HIV among People Who Inject Drugs in Ghana; and Dr. Alexander Y. Walley, Boston University School of Medicine, Applying Lessons Learned from HIV to the Overdose Crisis in Massachusetts. Moderator will be Dr. Roger Shapiro, of the Harvard AIDS Initiative and associate professor of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard Chan School.

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