Premiere Date: 10/2/2015; 14 minutes
In the first of a four-part series, UC San Diego epidemiologist Steffanie Strathdee and psychologist Tom Patterson start the story of how their research teams have traced the spread of HIV in Tijuana. It opens at a wound clinic in El Bordo, the section of the Tijuana River Canal where migrants and others shoot heroin and, in some cases, share needles. Dr. Patricia Gonzalez-Zuniga offers first aid as she and her staff recruit participants into Strathdee’s Proyecto El Cuete, a study which focuses on HIV prevention for people who inject drugs. Also featured is the inspiring Susi Leal Ricardi, an HIV-positive outreach worker who was once addicted to heroin and had lived in El Bordo. Leal overcame her addiction, has been clean for 14 years, and with the help of antiretroviral drugs, she has fully suppressed her HIV. She is now El Cuete’s “star promotora.” The HIV/SIDA series is based on the book Tomorrow Is a Long Time.