Manisha Maskay, Ph.D, Dr. Brady Allen, M.D, and Dr. Christopher Evans M.D.

Panel discussion to explore the current status of HIV treatment and the future of treatment and prevention efforts in next decade

TAMMYE NASH | Senior Editor

Thirty years after the first cases of what would eventually come to be known as AIDS were discovered in gay men in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, the struggle to contain the world-wide epidemic continues.

But where do we stand today in that fight, 28 years after HIV was determined to be the cause of AIDS, and 24 years after the FDA approved AZT as the first real treatment to fight HIV?

On Tuesday, June 28, Dallas Voice — in partnership with Cathedral of Hope and a slate of business sponsors and community organization partners — presents “AIDS at 30: A Community Forum,” to explore the questions of where we are now in the fight, and where we are headed.

The forum will be held at Cathedral of Hope’s Interfaith Peace Chapel, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the forum runs from 6:30 p.m to 8 p.m.

The forum is free and open to the public.

“We decided to produce this forum, ‘AIDS at 30,’ from a ‘today and tomorrow’ perspective,” said Robert Moore, Dallas Voice publisher.

“We all know the story of AIDS over the last 30 years. What people are really hungry for now is a real-world look at where HIV prevention and treatment are headed over the next decade,” Moore added. “People want to know that there is hope for a cure, and that the issue of HIV and AIDS is not yesterday’s story, but that it is, indeed, tomorrow’s story.”

The forum will be divided into three sections, with AIDS Arms Associate Executive Director Manisha H. Maskay, Ph.D., leading off on the topic of “HIV Prevention Strategies and Challenges for the Next Decade.”

Maskey has more than 30 years of experience in the field of public health, medical nutrition therapy and health education and behavior change. In addition to her work at AIDS Arms as both associate executive director and director of community and client services, she has worked for the Columbus Health Department in Columbus, Ohio, and as an assistant professor of medicine and director of clinical nutrition and health education services at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Brady Allen, M.D., with Uptown Physicians Group will lead the discussion on the evening’s second topic, “HIV/AIDS Treatment Today.”

Dr. Allen, who graduated from Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and completed his internship and residency at New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, has been one of the preeminent doctors in treating HIV/AIDS since the early days of the epidemic in Dallas.

After a brief retirement in 2008, he returned to Dallas and to Uptown Physicians in January 2009 to continue his practice.

Dr. Chris Evans, M.D., M.P.H., with AIDS Arms’ Peabody Health Center in Oak Cliff, winds up the presentation with a discussion on “What is the Future of HIV Treatment? The Facts. The Hope. The Fiction.”

A Yale University graduate, Dr. Evans completed medical school at Drexel University in Philadephia before completing his residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Montefiore Hospital in The Bronx. He has been involved in clinical researcher on HIV/AIDS since 2001 and has participated as a sub-investigator in more than 15 studies on HIV/AIDS treatments.

The forum concludes with an opportunity for audience members to ask questions of the panelists.

Platinum sponsors for the forum are Uptown Physicians Group and the Vasquez Clinic. Rx Partners Pharmacy is a gold sponsor.

Community organizations partnering with Dallas Voice to present the forum are AIDS Arms, AIDS Outreach Center of Tarrant County, AIDS Interfaith Network, AIDS Services of Dallas and Resource Center Dallas.

Proceeds from sponsorships and donations go to Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS, the annual bike ride that raises funds for AIDS Services of Dallas, AIDS Outreach Center and Resource Center Dallas.