Cleveland native offers insight into AIDS prevention in sub-Saharan Africa at South Franklin Circle

Cleveland native Dr. Paula Brentlinger shared insight into the challenges of AIDS prevention in sub-Saharan Africa, on Thursday, January 31st, as part of South Franklin Circle‘s popular Dialogue Series.

Dr. Brentlinger is currently a co-principal investigator in a Vanderbilt University evaluation of local guidelines for AIDS treatment in Mozambique.  The project is sponsored by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is a clinical assistant professor of global health at the University of Washington, School of Public Health in Seattle.

Along with a well-detailed presentation with lots of statistics, Dr. Brentlinger spoke passionately about the plight of those living with HIV in a third-world country where basic necessities like clean drinking water and electricity are rare.   She described re-writing the curriculum for a new HIV-AIDS training module for the country’s health care workers.  She also marveled at the resilience of the patients they treated, ranging in age from 18 to 70, mostly malnourished, illiterate, but would often travel on foot or by canoe to the clinic for treatment, then return to working in fields.

Dr. Brentlinger entertained thoughtful questions from the “fascinatingly heterogeneous” crowd of about 130 South Franklin Circle members and guests, including juniors and seniors from Chagrin Falls High School.  The students’ anatomy and environmental studies teachers offered them extra credit for attending the lecture.

At the beginning of the evening, Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, South Franklin Circle member and programming chair, acknowledged and welcomed local AIDS activists in the audience including Earl Pike, former executive director of the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, and South Franklin Circle members vic and joan gelb, who lost their son Bobby to the disease in 1994.

The South Franklin Circle Dialogue Series offers free stimulating forums designed to inform and inspire the community.  For more information about South Franklin Circle’s retirement lifestyle and programming such as this, please call 1-888-574-1906, or click here.

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