The underlying connection between COVID and AIDS


Credits: NIAID / flickr, CC BY 2.0

It was mid-March 2020, and the Blood Sears showed good signs of what would happen next. He survived the AIDS epidemic 40 years ago and, based on his experience, knew that COVID-19 would soon reveal existing social inequality.

As a young man in the early 1980s, and in his legal career track, Sears was familiar with the policy debate on HIV / AIDS. Much of that debate at the federal level has characterized AIDS as a gay male illness and was therefore not a priority for the United States during the Reagan era. The effects of oppression and discrimination, whether measured by access to health care, poverty, mental health, or substance abuse, are unfavorable to communities where HIV has been left out of society, especially men, women, and transgender people. It paved the way for the balance to be affected.

For Sears, the founding executive director of UCLA’s Williams Institute, the first university-based LGBT law and policy think tank in the United States, and the David Sanders Distinguished Scholar of Law and Policy, this will be more than a job-related benefit. .. He has been living with HIV since 1995.

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, after an emergency order was issued by governments across the country, Sears turned to another chapter in American history that vulnerable communities would pay a higher price in the face of disasters. I’m ready.

so Opinion piece Published in Ms. Magazine in March 2020, Sears predicted how COVID-19 would harm these communities and suggested ways to end this cycle of fraud.

Sears has made many observations almost two years after his work was published. Overall, he isn’t surprised at much of what has been done.

“COVID-19 became as fast as HIV and had a disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities, including black, Latin and LGBTQ communities, especially immigrant and low-income communities,” said Vice-President. Sears, who is also the director, said. He holds a degree in Public Interest Law from UCLA Law School.

Blacks, Latinos, and indigenous people die almost twice as often as whites in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed how LGBT adults are affected compared to non-LGBT adults.

  • Higher proportions of LGBT adults compared to non-LGBT adults report that they or someone in their family experienced unemployment during the COVID era (56% vs. 44%).
  • 74% of LGBT people say that pandemic anxiety and stress are having a negative impact on them. mental health, Compared to 49% of non-LGBT people.

Sears also public health Societies that prioritize equality and universal access to resources, such as AIDS and COVID-19, will significantly reduce harm.

Housing and health care

Sears said better access to health care may help stop the spread of COVID-19, partly because people don’t have to worry about treatment costs. Beyond that, if the United States has universal health insurance, it will reduce the existing conditions that make COVID-19 infection serious or fatal.

About 34.2 million Americans (a little over 10%) have diabetes. Diabetes is an existing condition that can exacerbate COVID (manageable with dosing, diet, and lifestyle choices).

“If you have a population that is healthy, knows who your doctor is, where you are going to be tested, and is not afraid of the cost impact of looking for health care, it’s huge. It will be a thing. Differences in the process of COVID pandemic. “

Sears is now taking this discussion further, pointing out the correlation between home security and healthcare. Organizations that support people living with HIV (PLWH) have long considered it.

“Housing stability is a necessary condition before dealing with people’s health,” Sears said. Sears said the expiry of government-led protection and support for COVID-19 exacerbated the housing crisis-containment.

Discrimination against stigma

By the time Sears wrote his opinion article in March 2020, cases of violence, discrimination, harassment, racism, and violence, especially against Asians and Asian Americans, were already in response to COVID-19. It was occurring nationwide. This rang a bell too familiar to Sears, who recalled the early days of the AIDS epidemic targeting gay and bisexual men as a false and comprehensive reason for the virus to spread. rice field.

“As the disease progresses and we focus on communities that are already marginalized, we need to remind ourselves and others that risk is caused by behavior rather than by people’s categories,” he said. I pointed out how little I learned as.

Almost two years after the pandemic, Sears emphasizes that compassion should reach everyone.

“I find myself and others concerned about resistance to COVID prophylaxis, but when someone gets sick, they need treatment assistance and should not be criticized. I advised that, “Sears said.

Sears points out that the real cause of resistance to public health campaigns is the rise of disinformation that thrives in a fragmented media environment. This is a big difference between the AIDS epidemic and COVID-19.

Looking for a solution, Sears said he was thinking of ways to re-engage people in public health education, starting with knowing what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is and where these recommendations come from. ..

“During a pandemic, people shouldn’t learn it on the spot,” Sears said. He is similar to how the lack of comprehensive sex education contributed to the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Vaccine initiatives

Sears believes that 40 years of research on HIV has contributed to the speed of development and deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine. Although the virus is different, HIV has proven unique in that it is hidden in the body’s reservoirs such as the lymph nodes and brain, but the lack of an HIV vaccine 40 years later raises questions. ..

“The development of effective treatments for other viruses raises the question,’Can vaccines be procured properly as a treatment for HIV?’” Sears said. ..

Public health recommendations

One of the most striking things about Sears is his “severe resistance” to public health measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19. He said the recommendations for wearing masks, physically distanced from each other, and gathering outdoors are less than the recommended behavioral changes during the AIDS epidemic.

“To tell many people in their twenties and thirties to stop having sex, or’you may not use condoms now, but now you will have to do that” … they are pretty big “Sears said.

The Sears that are part of this phenomenon are due to the uniqueness of the AIDS prevention movement. He said the reactions were very different because these were campaigns for LGBTQ people by LGBTQ people.

“Communities have come together to protect themselves, but that doesn’t happen at COVID,” Sears said.

Where are you going from here?

The lessons Sears gave in his opinion piece almost two years ago apply to him as well. He emphasizes that if the country invested in broader access to health care as a result of AIDS, the cost of pandemics in both life and resources could have been reduced.

“Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders all want something universal. health Care, or Medicare for All, in either case (at least currently visible), they and we haven’t achieved our goal. This crisis creates another moment to change it, “Sears wrote.

“When Warren and Sanders are on duty for universal costs Health careSomewhere in your ledger, you need to record the cost of the HIV epidemic and the cost of COVID-19. ”

Alexa, raise Kenmore AC.Sears signs contract with Amazon

Quote: Unequal exposure: The underlying relationship between COVID and AIDS (2 December 2021) is https: // Obtained from html on December 2, 2021

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