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Anthony Fauci, MD, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), was on The Colbert Report on Tuesday, March 29.

Stephen Colbert did a great job at setting up questions for Fauci to knock down. And Fauci did a great job at setting up punchlines for Colbert.

Here are some excerpts:

Colbert: Why aren't we talking about it [AIDS] if it's still a big deal?
Fauci: Well, people get used to it being around, they get complacent about it...

Colbert: Why are so many still people getting it, because we have abstinence education--
Fauci: That rarely works, that rarely works...

[Fauci explains that African Americans are disproportionately affected.]

Colbert: Is their a vaccine?
Fauci: Not yet.
Colbert: Sounds to me like the vaccine is to be a rich white person.

Colbert: Let's go over some of the basics. I know you can transmit AIDS through sex. What about kissing?
Fauci: No.
Colbert: And crying?
Fauci: No. You're OK, you can kiss and cry.
Colbert: That's good, because I also do those during sex.
Jokes aside, not once (at least in the edited version that appeared on air) was "HIV" uttered. I'm sure that wasn't deliberate, but I'm disappointed.

Making the distinction between HIV and AIDS is necessary for people to understand the disease. What a missed opportunity.

That said, the segment did shed some much-needed light on a topic that doesn't get anywhere near the kind of media attention it used to get.