A History of Treating HIV with Compassion and Care

A History of Treating HIV with Compassion and Care

February 14, 2020 0 By Jose Scott


♪ We’re healthier here ♪ – [Reporter] Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome is a terrifying and mysterious disease. – [Narrator] The date was June 5, 1981. The Centers for Disease
Control had just announced that the first patient had been stricken with the AIDS virus. – People were afraid. They were scared. I can remember the days of people with almost moon suits on, not wanting to transport patients, not wanting to care for them. – [Narrator] That same
year, Dr. Jack Ross, still in training,
treated his first patient with the human immunodeficiency
virus known as HIV. – [Dr. Ross] When this started,
my whole thinking changed. I always thought I would
probably be a kidney doc or a blood doc. – [Narrator] But the AIDS
epidemic changed all that. Today nearly 40 years later, Dr. Ross, an infectious disease specialist and director of the Community Care Center at Hartford Hospital, is still caring for patients with HIV. – [Dr. Ross] It is rooted
in the delivering of care. Understanding the paths
that people go down, trying to make that path a
little bit easier for them. – [Narrator] By 1997,
there came the need to open a full-time clinic known today as the Community Care Center
at Hartford Hospital. – [Dr. Ross] This is a
clinic where we do not have any preconceived notions. Everybody gets a new page
in the book every day. – [Narrator] That same year, a powerful set of medications
had been released, and it was life-changing for patients. – If we can maintain you at
the level where we can today, your future is bright. It’s a remarkable dichotomy that I do think about a lot actually. – [Interviewer] It’s a
little emotional for you? – It is. It absolutely is. – [Narrator] It has always
been about the patient for Dr. Ross, and that’s
what keeps him coming back to the center. (knocking) – [Dr. Ross] It’s actually kind of some days an oasis of peace. I’m dealing with the problems
of the individual patient. That’s my typical day. – [Narrator] And that’s the foundation of the Community Care Center.
What it was built on over 20 years ago and
continues to be today, a place where patients are family.