TIME

THE RACE TO ZERO

NEARLY A DOZEN U.S. CITIES HAVE PLEDGED TO DRASTICALLY REDUCE NEW INFECTIONS AND DEATHS FROM HIV/AIDS. PROGRESS HAS BEEN UNEVEN AT BEST.
HIV in the U.S. New drugs that prevent transmission have vastly curbed new infections and helped more people live with HIV—but some states continue to struggle

VERY LITTLE ABOUT DR. MARKALAIN DERY COULD BE DESCRIBED as ordinary. The HIV specialist at Tulane University in New Orleans favors three-piece suits and French-cuff shirts to white coats, khakis and Crocs. Under his shirtsleeves, his arms are a canvas for tattoos—a fleur-de-lis, an old-school radio microphone, a sexy portrait of his wife. Standard modes of transportation aren’t for him, either. Stashed in the corner of his office is the four-wheeler he uses to get around town: his skateboard.

Dery’s penchant for iconoclasm goes beyond appearances. As director of the Tulane T-Cell Clinic—an HIV patient center deliberately named without those three stigma-filled letters—Dery is testing an approach to disease management that’s mostly unheard of at HIV clinics in the U.S. Instead of simply offering HIV tests from a storefront shop in a high-risk neighborhood, for instance, the T-Cell Clinic operates out of a federally funded community wellness center at Tulane. T-Cell takes a whole-health approach to people with the virus, meaning that people who test positive for HIV are offered immediate treatment and given help to pay for it. Likewise, if those who happen to have HIV need routine medical

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