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American Students Study Abroad With a Focus on HIV in Israel

American Students Study Abroad With a Focus on HIV in Israel

Students overlooking a hillside
Helena Lopes/Pexels

12 students traveled to the country to experience and reflect on disparities in HIV care in the area.

12 students from Brown University traveled to Israel as part of the course “HIV/AIDS in Diverse Settings: Focus on Israel,” which examines Israel’s “diverse society, unique demographics, and universal healthcare,” according to the university.

The teacher of the course, Professor of Medicine Rami Kantor, said that his two passions in life are HIV research and the people living with HIV, as well as anything to do with his home country of Israel.

With differences in health care systems between the U.S. and Israel, the course focused on differences in HIV care. The 10-day trip to Israel had the students visiting various clinics and communities throughout Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Beersheba. After the trip, the students turned their experiences into a final paper.

One student, Til Chamdi, said, “It was a truly eye-opening experience that put a lot of things into perspective beyond this course — beyond HIV, beyond medicine — putting a whole different outlook on life.”

Another student, Ellis Clark, said, “Being a queer man, I was really passionate about studying HIV because I feel like it is something that has affected queer communities and communities of color for decades. We as a collective, young, queer population are losing a sense of that history, so it was really important to me to really dig into it.”

Joseph Garland, associate professor of medicine and clinician educator at the Alpert Medical School, said, “Both within the U.S. and globally, disparities in access, health literacy and social determinants of health remain major barriers to advancement [in HIV care]. That is why courses like this are so important.”

He added, “We need the next generation to care as much as we do about people living with HIV and to keep pushing us forward toward a brighter future.”

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