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Dr. Fauci Talks about AIDS with Stephen Colbert

Dr. Anthony Fauci (NIAID photo)

In case you missed it, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was a guest on the March 29, 2011 episode of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.”

Early in the interview host Stephen Colbert asked Dr. Fauci to forecast the next “hot, newest” infectious disease. “I want to get my graphics department working on the next thing that’s going to scare the poop out of these people,” Mr. Colbert said, as the studio audience chuckled in the background. “Turkey herpes? What’s it gonna be?”

Then the discussion turned serious, with Mr. Colbert suggesting that the public attention on AIDS treatment and prevention has waned in recent years. He asked Dr. Fauci: “Why aren’t we talking about it if it’s no big deal?”

Dr. Fauci said that AIDS remains a “serious problem” in the United States, with 56,000 newly diagnosed cases each year. “It’s been that way for the last 10 or 15 years,” he said.

“Why are so many people getting it? Because we have abstinence education…” Mr. Colbert asked.

“That rarely works,” Dr. Fauci said, noting that the majority of Americans practicing high risk behavior lack access to AIDS education campaigns and to good health care. In 2010, he added, about half of new AIDS infections in the United States were among African Americans.

To view the entire interview, click here.

— Doug Brunk (on Twitter@dougbrunk)

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Filed under Health Policy, IMNG, Infectious Diseases