Newsplex - Heroes - Headlines

Heroes: Charlottesville to Africa for HIV/AIDS Care

September 5, 2011

University of Virginia professors and students sit around the conference discussing their latest trip. They were in Mpumalanga, South Africa, meeting with community health care providers who work closely with HIV and AIDS patients.

The reason for the trip was to share new information and ideas about end of life care.

“In these communities there is very little health care,” said Cathy Campbell, a UVA professor and nurse. “There's really no formal palliative (end of life) care services, so it's important for us to support them and the work that they're doing.”

South Africa has the highest number of citizens with HIV/AIDS of any country in the world. The disease and associated complications account for an estimated 42.5 percent of maternal deaths and for 35 percent of deaths in children under the age of 5. Because of that, nurses and students accompanied health care providers to Mpumalanga.

They went door-to-door and clinic-to-clinic visiting HIV and AIDS patients and hoping to meet the need for palliative care.

“It was really powerful,” said Caitlin Carr, a graduate student at UVA. “It was probably the most powerful things that we did while we were there just to see their passion for patients and how much they really cared for each individual patient.”

In a series of meetings, the Charlottesville group focused on ways to relieve and prevent suffering for workers. They discussed improving pallative care through building partnerships, developing care assessment tools and training health care providers.

“It's very inspiring to know that in the little time we were there what we did made a difference for them so they can take care of themselves and be able to do the work that they're doing,” said Campbell.

But even are reaching out to dozens of workers and patients, the women feel their work is far from over. As they sit around the table and reminisce about their latest journey, they are already making plans for the next trip.

The comments sections of are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to


powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 129265088