Dr. Bill Valenti to Introduce Memoir Chronicling the Road to Ending the AIDS Epidemic AIDS: A Matter of Urgency available for pre-sale November 30th

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Dr. Bill Valenti, co-founder and staff physician at Trillium Health (formerly Community Health Network) is releasing a book of memoirs to generate awareness and support of his continued mission to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in NY by 2020. The official launch of AIDS: A Matter of Urgency will coincide with World AIDS Day, November 1, 2016.

Dr. Bill Valenti

Imagine what it would be like to end the HIV epidemic–something that is closer to reality more than ever before.

“Imagine what it would be like to end the HIV epidemic–something that is closer to reality more than ever before,” says Dr. Bill Valenti, an HIV-treating physician in Rochester, New York.

To those who know him, Dr. Valenti is far more than the co-founder and staff physician at Trillium Health (formerly Community Health Network), but a man who has dedicated his career and lifeworks to ending the AIDS epidemic. And those who have been following his work know he is part of the joint effort that is rapidly closing in on a once inconceivable goal to end the epidemic in New York State by 2020.

“I’m honored to work alongside so many bright and passionate professionals. People who have made this progress real. And I am grateful for the overwhelming response from our community - this was essential to our work. Without the donations and support of individuals, business leaders, foundations, and the medical community, we would not have been able to care for the sick and dying, much less continue to research and contribute to the body of knowledge that has advanced our understanding and treatment of HIV/AIDS,” said Valenti.

Today, with the end of the AIDS epidemic in sight, Dr. Bill Valenti is sharing his memoirs of the times, patients, and professionals with the world. AIDS: A Matter of Urgency is a self-published, compelling compilation of patient stories and personal reflections that chronicle the epidemic through the eyes of a front-line medical maverick.

In his book, Dr. Valenti brings light to the turbulent social climate, the raw emotions, personal anguish, and the risks he and his colleagues took in order to save lives.

“It was a tumultuous time, when most people with AIDS faced certain death,” said Dr. Valenti. “In the beginning, there were no treatments for the virus and no real treatment guidelines. We often made up the rules as we went along, using unconventional combinations of available drugs to treat patients to give them a chance to survive.”

While much of the book is told through Dr. Valenti’s patient encounters, the book also gets personal, revealing instances when he and his close colleague become both the doctor and the patient.

More than 35 years into the fight against HIV, the impact of Dr. Valenti and his colleagues cannot be denied. Since 2003, the number of new HIV cases in New York State decreased by more than 33%. In 2014, for the first time since the epidemic began, new infections in the state fell below 2500 per year. The goal by 2020 is 750 new infections per year or fewer.

Dr. Valenti has been involved in HIV treatment, prevention, research and policy since the beginning of the epidemic. While he continues to serve on the End the Epidemic by 2020 campaign, he simply considers himself an agent for the cause.

“If we want to talk about ending AIDS in realistic terms, we need to understand our history; how we got to this point. Hopefully, this narrative will help my NextGen colleagues continue the effort and finish the job,” added Valenti.

The book, AIDS: A Matter of Urgency, will officially launch on November 30 at the Rochester Academy of Medicine, where a preview event and panel discussion will be held to coincide with World AIDS Day. Dr. Valenti will be present to formally introduce the book and read select excerpts.

As of November 30, the book will be available to the public for pre-sale at amatterofurgency.com.

One hundred percent of the proceeds of every book sold will be donated to Trillium Health’s Fund to End the Epidemic by 2020.

About Dr. William Valenti

Dr. William Valenti is an infectious diseases specialist and a native of Rochester, NY. He is the co-founder of Community Health Network (1989), now Trillium Health. He has been working in HIV medicine, policy, and research since the early 1980s.

In addition to being a staff physician and Senior Vice-president of Strategic Advancement at Trillium Health, he is Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

He serves as chair of the Infectious Diseases Committee of the Medical Society of the State of New York, and a 2013 recipient of the Linda Laubenstein Award for Clinical Excellence from the New York State Department of Health. Most recently, Valenti has served as co-chair of the Care Committee on the New York State Health Department's Task Force to End the HIV Epidemic by 2020 (EtE 2020).

About Trillium Health’s Fund to End the Epidemic by 2020

This fund supports the work of Trillium’s Innovation Institute. The Institute, directed by Dr. Valenti, oversees the educational, outreach and research efforts to End the HIV Epidemic by 2020.

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Carrie Tschetter