Dr. David Rawlings (left) and Dr. Andrew Scharenberg (right) pioneered a gene editing method that gives human T cells the ability to resist HIV and either kill HIV or tumors. The research could have clinical applications in as early as a few years.
Courtesy of Seattle Children's Research Institute

Ross Reynolds speaks with Dr. David Rawlings, director of the Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies at Seattle Children's Research Institute, about how his team pioneered a breakthrough gene-editing technique that could help patients with HIV, genetic blood diseases and certain cancers. Their study was published in the September issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Transgender people are not getting adequate health care, and widespread discrimination is largely to blame, according to a recent World Health Organization report. And the story is told most starkly in the high rates of HIV among transgender women worldwide.

JoAnne Keatley, one of the authors of that study, puts it plainly.

Marcie Sillman speaks with Vaughn Palmer, columnist for the Vancouver Sun, about successes in British Columbia's fight against HIV and AIDS.

Shane Avery practices family medicine in Scott County, Ind. In December, a patient came to his office who was pregnant, and an injection drug user.

After running some routine tests, Avery found out that she was positive for HIV. She was the second case he had seen in just a few weeks.

"Right then, I kind of realized, 'Wow, are we on the tip of something?' " Avery says. "But you just put it away. ... It's statistically an oddity when you're just one little doctor, you know?"

Blood drive sticker from the Red Cross.
Flickr Photo/Maia C. (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks to Randall Russell, CEO of Lifelong, about the FDA's announcement that it will recommend the lifting of a ban on gay and bisexual men who want to donate blood. The decision will be put up for public comment in 2015.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says by the year 2020, he wants to cut the number of new HIV infections in half.

He was sitting in a clinic. Waiting. And waiting. And waiting for his grandparents' HIV medicine.

Sizwe Nzima was a high school student in Cape Town, South Africa, when he would pick up the medicine for his HIV-positive grandparents, who had difficulty traveling to the clinic themselves. Because of the long lines, Nzima usually waited hours and often made multiple trips to the clinic before and after school. He tried to bribe the pharmacists to get the medication sooner. But it didn't work.

Phelokazi Tinzi met the man of her dreams at a barbecue.

She was 28 years old, and visiting her cousin in Cape Town, when her future husband approached her. "He told me I was beautiful, but I thought he was just saying that to every girl," she said. But she gave him a chance – and her phone number. A few weeks later, they were engaged.

Marcie Sillman speaks with reporter Levi Pulkkinen about why King County Public Health officials decided to place an HIV-positive man under court supervision.

A Death Sentence Turns Into A Call Of The Wild

Sep 4, 2014
Courtesy of Leo Egashira

Leo Egashira, 60, is no stranger to death. He once saw his life flash before him when chased by a thousand-pound muskox in Greenland.

However, he had an even scarier encounter when he received an HIV diagnosis back in 1992. The life-changing event fostered his appreciation of the outdoors.

Flickr Photo/Michael Fleshman (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, who is credited with discovering the HIV virus in 1983, about the early days of HIV/AIDS research, and why she's hopeful that a cure can be found. She won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for her work on the HIV virus.

Don't Stop 'Til You Reach The Summit

Aug 7, 2014
Courtesy of Leo Egashira

Join Esa Tilija and Meghan O'Kelley for an inspiring podcast about individuality and living life to the fullest. Meghan shares how autistic high schooler Lorenzo learned to express himself through an unconventional hobby: impersonating Michael Jackson. Esa tells the story of how Leo, an avid backpacker, got a life-changing diagnosis that served as a call to truly live.

RadioActive is KUOW's program for high school students. Listen to RadioActive stories, subscribe to the RadioActive podcast and stay in touch on Facebook.

Flickr Photo/Wheeler Cowperthwaite (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Dr. Matthew Golden about HIV infection rates in King County. Golden directs the HIV/STD control program at King County Public Health.


In the campaign to prevent HIV and sexually transmitted infections, counselors like Chief Odood are on the frontlines.

The HIV Prevention Pill No One is Taking

Jun 17, 2014
Flickr Photo/felix.castor (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Shaun Knittel, associate editor at Seattle Gay News and founder of Social Outreach Seattle, about why few people in the gay community are taking Truvada, a pill that when taken daily is 99 percent effective in preventing HIV infection.