By David Schultz
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health want to use the district to examine what they call the test-and-treat hypothesis: whether the disease can be curtailed primarily by annual voluntary testing and immediate drug treatment of those who test positive.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of infectious diseases at the NIH, says his agency will use D.C. as a lab to find out whether this really is possible.
The $26 million dollar partnership between D.C. and the NIH comes after years of widespread waste of the city's HIV/AIDS dollars. Fauci says D.C. has put a stop to that and is moving in the right direction.
"So that instead of people coming and saying, 'boy, the district doesn't know what they're doing. They don't do it right,'" Fauci says, "They're going to say, 'how do they do it in the District of Columbia?'"
And Fauci says one thing the city has going for it already is the way it uses scientific, evidence-based methods in combating the AIDS epidemic.