Woman of the Week: Selma Dritz

This week’s woman of the week is Selma Kaderman Dritz. She was a Epidemiologist which is a public health professional who investigates patterns and causes of disease and injury in humans. Dritz was born in Chicago in 1917 and studied medicine at the University of Illinois and then went on to obtain a master’s degree in public health at UC Berkley in 1967.She later became Assistant Director of San Francisco’s Bureau of Communicable Disease Control. In the 1980s when young gay men began rapidly dying from old fashioned communicable diseases and rare cancers.Dritz played an unbelievably important role in tracking the new disease HIV in this time period. Her data was the first clear data that the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received. It was crucial  data that shaped the nation’s understanding of HIV and AIDS and its warning signs. Dritz was on the frontline of prevention efforts. She passed away in 2008 from old age.

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