Eric Freed presents on HIV

By Miles Bradford, Round Table reporter

Dr. Eric Freed, Director of HIV Dynamics and Replication Program, came to Middletown High School on Monday, April 1 to speak about his research and work. A sizable crowd attended as he explained many things about Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) replication and dynamics, and many received different messages from the lesson.

Henry Kreger, MHS freshman, spoke about how he feels towards the research, saying, “I’m looking forward to a possible treatment or cure to HIV or AIDS.”

Kreger left with a hope that the work of Dr. Freed and his associates will better the lives of many future patients, although he did not anticipate how much he would learn.

Freed focused on the very technical aspects of this dangerous virus’ lifespan and its effects on the human race. MHS junior McCauley Brown understood the basics of what was taught.

“I had seen him twice before; I liked how he explained viruses and replication. I think (biomedical sciences) will definitely help us. The HIV epidemic doesn’t have a cure yet and it needs one. The more research we have, the easier it will be to develop a cure.” Brown is enlisted for an internship focusing on embryonic development.

MHS media specialist Lindsey Weaver, who set up and correlated the presentation, agreed that it is “definitely helpful,” but added that, “It’s very complex and is something that is beyond the scope of understanding for anyone with a limited science background.”

Freed described viruses as “obligate parasites that need a host to live.” These parasites’ eradication would create a significant increase in the welfare of the human race. The statistics are both fascinating and jarring, and educating the public on the need for research is exactly what furthers us toward a healthier society.

This is the reason Freed made time to make this presentation at MHS. Each year, MHS students apply and enroll in internships for the National Cancer Institute and NIH, among other scientific institutions, and they prepare to help the growth of medical sciences in the future.

Weaver believes that “it is important to get in a variety of people… it brought a little more awareness to HIV and the science behind it.” She has scheduled another meeting with a nurse to come and continue educating MHS about biomedical sciences.

Jane Brandt, MHS science teacher, declined to comment because the AP testing for science courses such as AP chemistry and Environmental Sciences coincided with the time of Freed’s visit. She felt it was very disappointing that those who would otherwise enjoy the presentation most were unable to come.