Perry N Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH(he/him/his) is a public health psychologist, infectious disease epidemiologist, applied statistician, researcher, educator, and advocate. He is also an actively sought-out expert for television, print, and other mass media. For 3 decades, the focus of his research has been on the emergence, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases, specifically, HIV, HPV, and other sexually transmitted infections, and more recently SARS-CoV-2. His program of study has sought to disentangle the biological, behavioral, psychosocial, and structural mechanisms that predispose people and populations to these infectious diseases, and the synergies of infectious disease with mental health burden—including drug abuse—in sexual, gender, and racial and ethnic minority populations.
The social, structural, and economic drivers of HIV are not so different from COVID-19. Still, those who have witnessed the ravages of HIV have been in a 40-year holding pattern when it comes to a vaccine, according to experts from the Rutgers School of Public Health.
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the CDC’s first report on what would become known as HIV/AIDS, Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH, sends out an urgent call to continue this fight and rededicate resources to finding a cure.