On Tuesday October 28, Mark W. Kline delivered an extensive presentation on his experience fighting to prevent HIV and AIDS worldwide. Â Kline originally ran a small pediatric treatment center in Romania for HIV/AIDS and then went on to open and lead several childrenâ€™s centers in different eastern African countries. Â
â€œA lot of the lessons learned from [dealing with] HIV/AIDS can be applied to [the] ebola[virus],â€ Kline said. Â
Both viruses originated from similar climates in Africa, and both are hypothesized to have been transmitted from animals to humans. Â Most importantly, both infections have social fears and stigmas associated with running indicative tests, which decrease the number of individuals willing to enter care centers. Â Â
â€œCritics of the first childrenâ€™s center I opened in Botswana warned that nobody would come in fears of being looked at differently, but mothers are more scared of their children contracting a virus as powerful as HIV,â€ Kline said. â€œThe number of cases of ebola is still slowly increasing, and some of the major challenges are that we canâ€™t control the vectors [organisms that spread disease], and that ebola is not seasonal.â€
Sheryl Tynes, associative vice president for academic affairs, openly praised Kline in the questions and answers segment.
â€œIt is an understatement to say that you make Trinity look great for what youâ€™ve done. Â We have many undergrads sitting here who are ready to change the world. Â How do they do what youâ€™ve done?â€
Kline smiled hesitantly and insisted that students must remain â€œflexible and open-mindedâ€ in their fields so that they do not miss out on unexpected opportunities. Â Â
â€œWhen I was in St. Louis working in pediatric research on infectious disease, my boss asked me one day, â€˜are you willing to oversee the care of 70 children with HIV at Texas Children Hospital?â€™ Â I knew he had probably asked everyone else in the department, and nobody wanted to go because they had their own research agendas to stick to, but I said yes,â€ Kline said.
Klineâ€™s lecture is part of the international studies colloquium, a global studies course. Â One student taking the course had many positive things to say.
â€œI like how the colloquium not only provides a medical perspective on ebola but also goes into social and economic factors about this virus. Â I can really see how beyond infected individuals, ebola affects entire nations. It really expands your horizons!â€ said Christiana Ellard, international studies major.
After the lecture was over, many students enthusiastically asked about anticipated future steps toward prevention.
â€œHow can we get involved with work in different childrenâ€™s centers?â€ said one student.
Kline allowed Robert Blystone, biology professor, to answer this question.
â€œCome knock on my door,â€ Dr. Blyestone said.