The Michigan Daily reported on Pulitzer Center grantee and journalist Jon Cohen, who spoke to about 20 University of Michigan students Tuesday night. Cohen discussed his reporting on the HIV and AIDS epidemics throughout Africa and the U.S. Amelia Cacchione, who reported for the Daily, described the scope of Cohen's reporting projects and the work he discussed with University of Michigan students.
"Cohen, who works for Science, expressed his belief that mainstream media have largely forgotten about HIV. Cohen explained that this is because a fear of infectious disease largely drives the public, and media outlets serve the interests of the public. However, Cohen reminded the audience that there are 37 million people infected globally, with approximately 2 million people newly infected each year," Cacchione reported. "While Cohen supports the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS's goal of reaching 90-90-90 — 90 percent of people who have the disease know they are infected, 90 percent of people seek health care, 90 percent of people are on antiretroviral drugs — he emphasized this goal has not been met. According to Cohen, just 11 million out of the 37 million people infected have all three goals achieved."
"Every place that has remarkable success has one individual who takes charge and says, 'This is on me,' " Cohen said Tuesday. "The other thing is self-criticism, is being able to look others squarely in the eye and say, 'We're failing here.' "
A reporter for Science since 1990, Cohen has covered the HIV/AIDS epidemic for the magazine in more than three dozen countries. He also has written for the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, BuzzFeed News, Technology Review, Outside, Slate, Surfer and many other publications. In addition to HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, Cohen has reported on genetics, primate research, evolution, bioterrorism, vaccines and immunology, the National Institutes of Health, reproductive biology, credit battles, and the media itself.
The University of Michigan is a member of the Pulitzer Center's extensive campus consortum network, made up of partnerships between the Pulitzer Center and universities and colleges to engage with students and faculty on the critical global issues of our time. Read the full account of Cohen's talk at The Michigan Daily website.