Ronald Reagan

HIV may not discriminate, but structural inequalities do

HIV may not discriminate, but structural inequalities do

The term acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) was used for the first time more than 35 years ago. This new disease was gripping the nation, causing a wave of unprecedented stigma and discrimination, especially for gay and bisexual men. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary made homophobic jokes about AIDS — as 1,118 people died from it that year.

As a nation we have come a long way — December is now AIDS Awareness Month — but the stigma, the discrimination and the fight is far from over, especially for minoritized and marginalized groups in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that if current HIV diagnoses persist,...

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