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MEETINGS 2013-2016

401st Meeting : Tuesday, 9 February, 2016: "History of the Thailand HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Highlights of the Country's Key Contributions to Global Prevention”. 

Tuesday, 9th February 2016.

A talk by Bruce G. Weniger

The Talk:

Thailand played a key role in researching HIV/AIDS and developing methods to prevent it that have had a major impact, and still hold much future promise.  After initial complacency and denial, Thailand realized that AIDS threatened the nation and undertook to study the extent of the epidemic and, importantly, to
publish the information that helped marshal resources and target defenses against it. The speaker will detail this experience from the perspective as director of the collaboration between the Thai Ministry of Public Health and US Centers for Disease Control and his continuing work with the Research Institute for Health Sciences of Chiang Mai University.

The Speaker:       

After earning MD and MPH (epidemiology) degrees at the University of California, Los Angeles, and training in pediatrics at the University of Utah, in 1980 Dr Bruce G. Weniger joined the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, followed by a variety of  domestic and overseas career assignments in outbreak investigation, disease surveillance and control, and  epidemiology training.
In the early 1980s, he was detailed for three years to the World Health Organization (WHO) to advise the Field Epidemiology Training Program in the Thailand Ministry of Public Health (MOPH).  He returned to Bangkok in 1990 for a second tour of duty to found and become first director of the joint AIDS field research station of CDC and the MOPH (initially named the “HIV/AIDS Collaboration”, and now the “Thailand MOPH – U.S. CDC Collaboration” [TUC]), from which he published the first comprehensive review of HIV/AIDS in Thailand (http://bit.ly/HIV-AIDS-Thailand) and editorial on the country’s response to the epidemic (http://bit.ly/March-AIDS-Asia).  His other  international work has included WHO smallpox eradication in Bangladesh (1975), refugee health in Somalia (1981), and guinea worm eradication in West
Africa (1982). 

From 1995 to 2010, Dr Weniger led vaccine technology development at CDC, with a focus on safer, simpler, swifter vaccination methods that avoid the dangers and drawbacks of needle and syringe, including disposable-syringe jet injection and other needle-free delivery methods.  He co-authored Chapter 61
(Alternative Vaccine Delivery Methods, http://bit.ly/Vaccines6thChap61a) in the 5th  and 6th  editions of the Elsevier textbook Vaccines. 

In 2010, he retired from the U.S. Public Health Service/CDC and later became International Professor at the Research Institute for Health Sciences of Chiang Mai University, where he organizes and leads workshops on scientific-manuscript writing for faculty and consults on their papers and research.  From 2010 through 2014, he also served as an Associate Editor of the journal Vaccine 

During Dr Weniger’s career, he has served as member or chair of various boards, advisory committees, and working groups of the Annual Conferences on Vaccine Research, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (now known as GAVI), the International Society for Vaccines, the Pan American Health Organization, the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (now known as PATH), the White House, and the WHO.

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