Virologist presents lecture on the emergence of the AIDS epidemics

Wednesday March 19, 2014
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Emerson Hall, Room 304
545 Barnhill Drive

Professor Preston Marx will deliver a presentation entitled, “Emergence of the AIDS Epidemics: Transition from SIV to HIV.”

The sudden emergence of the AIDS pandemic in the 20th century raised questions about AIDS origin(s), including the timing and root causes. Research led to understanding that HIV/AIDS is not one pandemic, but rather a combination of multiple epidemics and failed outbreaks, alongside the well known pandemic. The sources of all HIVs are simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs) on the African continent. Finding SIV and the evolution of SIV to HIV will be presented, along with prevailing theories on why AIDS emerged in the 20th century.

Marx is Professor of Tropical Medicine and Chair of the Division of Microbiology at the Tulane National Primate Research Center of Tulane University. A virologist with over 40 years of experience in research on non-human primate models of AIDS vaccines and the origins of the AIDS epidemics, Dr. Marx’s research contributions include finding Simian Immunodeficiency Viruses (SIV’s) in sooty mangabeys in West Africa, showing this particular mangabey monkey sub-species as the source of HIV-2. Dr. Marx has conducted research projects in Sierra Leone, Gabon, Cameroon and the Republic of Congo. He recently published research in Science magazine showing that the SIV family of viruses is hundreds of thousands of years older than previously believed.

Co-sponsored by the Medical Humanities and Health Studies Program and the Indiana University School of Medicine Center for AIDS Research.

Pizza will be served. Questions? Please email ticarmic@iu.edu.

Herron exhibit provides intimate look at child-led households created by AIDS pandemic

“Hope Seekers: Survival of Southern African Child-Led Households in the Shadow of HIV”
February 5 – February 22, 2014
Marsh Gallery, Eskenazi Hall, 735 W. Michigan St.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic in Swaziland is creating an epidemic of its own — an exploding number of households in the South African kingdom that are headed by children, some as young as eight or nine.

Swaziland has the world’s highest rate of HIV/AIDS cases, with one in four people infected by the virus. The adult AIDS death rate results in a new orphan every 14 seconds – creating the phenomenon of child-led families.

Herron School of Art and Design on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus this month is hosting an exhibit of photographs exploring the lives of children in these families.

“It tells the stories of these children and really allows people to enter into an experience of gaining more of an intimate look at the child-led households in South Africa,” said Cynthia Prime, CEO of Saving Orphans through Healthcare and Outreach (SOHO), the Indianapolis-based non-profit organization taking a leading role in efforts to help educate, nurture and feed the child-led families.

Special activities associated with the exhibit include:

  • A panel discussion, followed by a book signing and reception at 6 p.m. on Feb. 12 in Basile Auditorium, Eskenazi Hall.
  • An unveiling of a life-size prototype of sustainable, safe and secure housing designed by IUPUI engineering and technology students for orphans in Swaziland, followed by presentations by students from Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School, 6 p.m., Feb. 18, Eskenazi Hall.

“This exhibition represents great collaboration across IUPUI’s many schools and programs. We are excited about the momentum we’ve built working in partnership with SOHO, as we increase IUPUI’s connections with Indianapolis, Swaziland, and the world,” said Jane Luzar, dean of the IUPUI Honors College.

In addition to photographs taken by Josef Kissinger, the exhibit includes artifacts created by Swaziland children.

The artifacts include a large toy vehicle, called a Kombi, built out of wire, soft drink cans, and bottle caps; and a floor mat made from garbage bags and candy wrappers. “These articles show that these children have promise and creativity,” Prime said. “They are called hope seekers because if they had options, they could change the world they live in.”