When the covid-19 crisis first hit, I thought to myself that things were going to be very different from the HIV/AIDS crisis, which I recall surviving with a sense of horror and despair.

I thought the federal government and politicians would take things seriously this time because the pandemic threatened everyone, not just marginalized gay men, trans women, and IV drug users.

To some extent, certainly, I was right. Public health authorities and the pharmaceutical industry swung into action much faster than they did with HIV.

But eerily, we find ourselves faced with many of the same problems. Access to prevention measures and treatment are not accessible enough, especially for people on the margins. And as you point out, that’s causing needless suffering.

HIV was our national strike one. Covid-19 is strike two. I hope we learn something from this and never get to strike three.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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