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The desire to compare COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS is understandable. The response to HIV provides an inspiring road map for how to save lives. For over four decades, starting in the early 1980s, activists, scientists, politicians and cultural producers have been working alongside one another resulting in life saving developments—and goals not yet achieved. Since the late 1990s, HIV has become a manageable chronic illness for those with access to life saving medicine, housing, food, and social support. Meanwhile, stigma, discrimination, and criminalization directed at people living with HIV continue, based on social difference, access to resources and community, and an array of ever-shifting economic circumstances. AIDS activism remains necessary, and the work of AIDS activists vital.



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