My flight to San Diego takes off at 11:30 AM today for ID Week and I wanted to write about Tijuana. This is a subject you probably wouldn’t hear about elsewhere during the conference. Tijuana has a bad ongoing HIV epidemic especially among people who inject drugs, sex workers, and prisoners. Many of these people live or work in the “Zona Norte” and the Tijuana River canal which is directly adjacent to the US-Mexico border. This has been documented extensively by Professor Steffanie Strathdee and her binational research team. Strathdee’s research was the main reason I chose to go to UCSD for my internal medicine residency in 2008. But unfortunately IM residency was too busy and I never was able to get involved in any research projects in Mexico. Instead I ended up in Mozambique (happily). I did get nicknamed “TJ Phil” by my classmates because I was always in Mexico. But now things are coming full circle.
This introduction was to make you aware of a spectacular new book by Malcolm Linton and Jon Cohen, entitled Tomorrow is a long time: Tijuana’s unchecked HIV/AIDS epidemic. I bought the book recently. It is pricey at $39 but in my opinion worth every penny because it leads to an important conversation about infectious diseases, substance use, poverty, and immigration. My only critiques of the book are 1) its cost, and 2) that the book is entirely in English. I think it would be better if it were 1/2 in Spanish and 1/2 in English.
This excellent book follows in the tradition of James Agee and Walker Percy’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, detailing the suffering of nameless people who live in the shadow (literally) of the United States. Please buy it and continue the conversation.
Writing blog posts does take time. If you found this post useful and wouldn’t mind leaving a comment/sharing on social media, that would be great. Thank so much! Best regards, Phil