In the beginning of my medical career during the early 1990’s, I witnessed the devastating effects of HIV & AIDS. Nearly 60 percent of the hospital beds I attended were filled with AIDS patients, many of them my close friends and colleagues. At the time, little was known about the AIDS epidemic; no effective treatments were available; and as a physician, I watched helplessly as day after day those closest to me suffered until their death.
Today, almost three decades later, thanks to increased prevention and access to care and treatment for HIV, most of these hospital beds have emptied of HIV & AIDS patients. Now, these same beds are filled by those suffering from preventable chronic diseases, including vaccine-preventable cancers.
Today, February 4, we commemorate World Cancer Day, joining the global community to raise awareness about the global cancer epidemic, and renew our commitment to address cancer in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs).