HIV/AIDS & Infectious Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were approximately 1 million people in the United States living with HIV at the end of 2003. Globally, more than 33.2 million people are living with HIV/AIDS with 40,000 new infections occurring yearly. The continent of Africa bears the burden of 80% of the world’s deaths due to AIDS. Other infectious diseases continue to cause substantial morbidity and mortality here in the United States and around the world. For example, tuberculosis kills 2 million people worldwide every year. Other infectious diseases include SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), West Nile Virus, Malaria, and Influenza.

Richard Rothenberg has conducted research that examines the dynamics of transmission of HIV, STDs, and blood borne illnesses (BBIs), with particular emphasis of the effects of social, sexual, and drug-using networks on transmission. Leslie Wolf is involved in research concerning ethics in HIV prevention and research, as well as HIV-related laws and policies. Erin Ruel also teaches a special topics course on the sociological perspectives on the HIV/AIDS pandemic.