Talk On HIV by Doctor Simon Edwards at Wilson’s School on November 26th

On the 26th of November 2022, Dr Simon Edwards gave a talk at the lecture theatre of Wilson’s School after school, from 3:30 to 4:45, in which he discussed the history of HIV and AIDS and his career in medicine as well as advice for any future jobs we may have.

                I first heard about this talk through the announcement slides at school, in which Doctor Simon Edwards was introduced as the Medical Director of the Diggory Division for Central and Northwest London Foundation Trust where he works as Clinical Lead in Improvement Academy as well as holding the position of Honorary Associate Professor at UCL. Despite the impressive credentials, I was intrigued by  the thought of a talk about future careers, which my parents had been encouraging me to take a more active role in. I was also interested by the history of HIV, which I was learning about in both my history and biology classes with the stigma surrounding it.

                    As I entered the hall, I was shocked to find over 100 students sitting there, eagerly waiting for the talk to commence, many of them being sixth formers, easily recognisable by the variety of different suits worn as opposed to normal school uniform. The talk soon began, with Dr Simon Edwards explaining he was late due to the usual traffic in Croydon. Throughout the talk, I found it very engaging. In order to explain the more confusing aspects of the disease, Dr Edwards would get up and use common, ordinary items such as a glasses case to tell us how HIV cells can infect healthy cells. He encouraged audience participation, although many of his questions stumped the audience, but surprisingly one student was able to identify the original name of HIV which was GRID – Gay Related Immuno Deficiency. At the end of the talk. Dr Edwards went into detail about his personal history as a doctor, as well as the importance of being able to adapt which could apply to any job at life and how using stem cell therapy he was able to completely cure a patient of AIDS. Leaving the talk, my friend Kaloyan Yunchov, described it as ‘Enthralling and informative”

                 Overall, to sum up the talk I would describe it as captivating. What was taught in the talk was not just applicable to medicine and HIV but all aspects of life which I thought was very intuitive and insightful and I would like to see more talks like this in the future of Wilson’s School.

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