Dr. Lawrence works with HIV/AIDS patients in West Africa
Health Science Center salutes alumnus' work with Peace Corps
Today the nation celebrates the Peace Corps' 40th birthday. At the Health Science Center, faculty, staff and students are saluting Peace Corps worker Dr. David Lawrence, a 2001 graduate of the School of Medicine, for his work with HIV/AIDS patients in Togo, West Africa. Lawrence departed for his mission Nov. 12.
"I work with 'Espoir-Vie,' which means 'Hope-Life,' a nongovernmental organization, which serves those who are HIV positive, protects their rights, and works against the stigma of HIV through education," said the 35-year-old volunteer. "I also assist orphans with AIDS."
Lawrence is one of 163,000 Americans who have served in more than 135 countries since President John F. Kennedy signed the executive order creating the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961. Since that year, 15 UTHSC alumni have served in the Peace Corps.
New initiatives to intensify Peace Corps' efforts to combat HIV/AIDS were underscored in 2000 when President Clinton signed a bill that contained the agency's $265 million annual budget, which included an extra $21 million compared to the 2000 budget. With strong bipartisan support last year, the president proposed an increase of 25 percent in the number of Peace Corps volunteers to 10,000 by 2003.
The Peace Corps is actively seeking health professionals to teach HIV/AIDS education in Africa and Asia. Peace Corps volunteers improve global communities through work on grass-roots projects.
For more information about how to get involved with the
Peace Corps, visit www.peacecorps.gov.