By the time he was tested for HIV five years ago, Jerome Smith’s immune system was so weak doctors told him he’d probably been infected for a decade. But Smith says he’d been in and out of the hospital for various ailments, and no one had ever tested for HIV. At this week’s International AIDS Conference in Washington, organizers will call for big increases in HIV testing and treatment.
Jerome Smith, 39, was diagnosed with HIV in 2008. His immune system was so weakened that he had developed AIDS. The doctor told Smith, a D.C. government worker, that he had probably been infected for at least a decade. He began treatment, but the drugs did not seem to work. By the end of 2010, he was in hospice care and blind, a complication that was common early in the epidemic but one is now rare. Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post Buy Photo