According to the University of California, San Francisco, the death rate of AIDS peaked in 1995. Since there is about a ten-year incubation period of the virus, the peak of HIV infections was in mid-1980s. About this time, the HIV program at Stony Brook Medical Center was founded and designated as the official HIV program for Suffolk county New York in 1987. It was created to provide inpatient and outpatient care to HIV/AIDS victims (“HIV Program“). At the time, there were only two of these in the state of New York (SBU: History and Timeline.). Because of this fact, Stony Brook can be considered a pioneer of the what we know and consider to be and AIDS Treatment facility.
Today, the center is considered “a resource for children, adolescents, adults and women who are pregnant with HIV/AIDS” (“What You Need to Know About AIDS Today“). Not only is it open to the public, but to the students of Stony Brook University as well. In fact, since the 1990’s, Stony Brook university, in conjunction with the medical center, has offered free HIV testing. Through a 1994 article in the university newspaper The Statesman, Peter Mastroianni informs his peers about HIV testing that the school was providing for all students. In modern times, every year on December 1st, or World AIDS Day, students have access to HIV testing.
To provide efficient care for all patients, the HIV department is broken into three sections: pediatric, maternal, and adult. Each section specializes in the specific needs of their patients, and they promote testing, provide early intervention, and offer education on the disease. The Adolescent and Young Adult HIV Care and Prevention Center alone offers education on the disease and the transmission of it within their program (“Adolescent and Young Adult HIV Care and Prevention Center”).
In addition to a treatment center, this institution is also pursuing knowledge of the virus itself and developing treatments for HIV/AIDS. One thing that Stony Brook School of Medicine Professor Carol Carter is researching is the role of proteins in retro viral assembly and how this role affects the movement and release of “HIV-1 Gag precursor protein” (“Carol A. Carter“). As of 2016, the inhibitor she was developing had already decreased and stopped the HIV virus from spreading in tissue samples (Before the Cure, an HIV Inhibitor?). This shows that to this day Stony Brook researchers are successfully contributing to the end of HIV/AIDS. The medical center’s Treatment Development center is associated with Hospital AIDS Treatment Center, and their three Medical Doctors (M.Ds), Philosophical Doctor (Ph.D), and Registered Pharmacist (RPH) are studying different therapies to treat the virus (Stony Brook HIV Treatment Development Center).
For Stony Brook to successfully have a facility in which patients feel comfortable and ready to face this disease, they first had to fight the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDs and those who contracted it. Through raising awareness, offering education, and advancing research, the facility has been able to do so.