“If we start thinking we’re special, we’ll start getting ourselves into trouble and/or we will refuse treatment that we need to help us get better,” the addiction medicine specialist advises.
Pinsky, along with the cast of the MTV documentary “I’m Positive,” is headed to Washington on Thursday to meet with President Obama and mark World AIDS Day at the White House. The internist hosts the first-of-its-kind, one-hour special for the network, airing Saturday, which follows young people living with HIV.
Although he’s best-known for his work with addicts and as the longtime host of the nationally syndicated radio show “Loveline,” he says, “HIV, in fact, is the reason I got involved in media in the first place.”
As a young doctor appearing as a radio program guest in the 1980s, Pinsky says he was startled by the fact that young people “had never heard about this thing that was coming.”
Calling HIV the “forgotten epidemic,” Pinsky, 54, plans to tell Obama “how delighted I am that his White House has begun to understand the same thing that we’re seeing, which is that this deserves attention.”
The White House event is one of many around the country marking World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. The advocacy organization ONE is unveiling a star-studded YouTube video series featuring Colin Farrell, Zoe Saldana and former White House aide Michael Gershon to raise awareness.
While joining the fight against AIDS is serious business, Pinsky says if it’s not too cold, he’s hoping to have some downtime in Washington to continue a personal tradition: “I have a ritual of running the Mall. I basically go from the Lincoln Memorial, sometimes to the Jefferson, and even to Roosevelt, if I get over there. And [then I] come around back by the Washington Monument to the White House.”
So what should Dr. Drew fans be on the lookout for if they want to catch a glimpse of the medical guru and television personality? He says with a laugh he’ll be decked out “in weird hats and gloves, looking like a maniac. That’s me. Looking like Forrest Gump or something.”
Photo: Pinsky poses with the cast of MTV's "I'm Positive."