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Recognizing the role of dermatologists in the fight against HIV and AIDS, according to a review




Their practice includes studies of sexually transmitted diseases up to the 1950s, and the authors of this historic review state that at that point they had “abandoned” care for these patients to others. After decades of gaps, the HIV / AIDS epidemic once again required their expertise in the study of STI, also known as sexually transmitted diseases “due to the skin symptoms of HIV.”

They soon became part of the first defenders of these marginalized patients. Nevertheless, their contributions are largely placed on backburners, instead of the broader awareness given to doctors, scientists, public health professionals, community activists, and grassroots organizations.

Dr. Marcus Connant and Dr. James Groundwater were practicing dermatologists in San Francisco in the early 1980s. rare Young gay male KS plaque. The authors say Connant had already collaborated with Dr. Alvin Friedman Kien of New York University on the recent emergence of a Kansas case group among young gay men in the city. Shortly thereafter, the former established the KS Clinic with the support of a dermatologist at the University of California, San Francisco.

Friedman-Kien then Journal of American Dermatology, “In many cases, HIV-1 infected patients first contact their healthcare provider with a dermatologist, especially if they are unaware that they are infected with HIV-1. You may consult a doctor. “

According to the author, historian Dr. Sally Hughes said that during the first two years of the AIDS epidemic, Conant’s KS clinic and research group promoted a biomedical response to AIDS in San Francisco, with its leader being his patient. He emphasizes that he has become a solid supporter of. ..

Other dermatological research areas during this period included HIV infection through dendritic skin cells, the immunology of AIDS in psoriasis, and the side effects of treatments and medications. “The contribution of dermatology is immeasurable and will continue to be,” said the author of the review.

But at the same time, many dermatologists have been working to unravel the mysteries surrounding HIV and AIDS, such as through gay and lesbian dermatologists’ associations, and the negligence and homosexual dislike of these patients has been seen in other dermatologists. It was widespread, including patients with HIV / AIDS. Many do not want to treat patients, often despise them, and at major conferences such as the American Academy of Dermatology holds annually.

Current review authors may also have been able to do more, but dermatological research is limited to “obvious homophobia” and minimal funding, which is the publication of results and patient advocacy. It states that it influenced.To Jama Dermatology Alone, they emphasize, “In issue 24, 1984-1985, only three articles on HIV / AIDS and related skin conditions were published.”

“It’s most important to remember this history. Forty years after the HIV / AIDS epidemic began, the perception of dermatologists who first picked up the mantle and dedicated their life work to affected patients Very few, “the author concludes. “This history has important lessons and describes a model of dermatology involvement in clinical care, education, research, and advocacy for vulnerable people around the world.”


Milver H, James WD. The Role of Dermatologists in the Early HIV / AIDS Epidemic: A Historical Review of the 40th Anniversary of HIV / AIDS. Jama Dermator.. Published online on February 10, 2021. doi: 10.1001 /jamadermatol.2020.5545


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