LOS ANGELES -- When the coronavirus swept the world earlier this year, becoming a pandemic and major health crisis, it caught many off guard. Similarly, the HIV/AIDS pandemic that seemingly appeared out of nowhere in the early 1980s also caught the world by surprise, none more so than the LGBTQ community who seemed to be hit hardest first.
However, unlike HIV and AIDS, which was largely ignored for years in the United States by the government and population at large, COVID-19 got people's attention immediately.
"Within sixty days there was a lockdown, then a quarantine and the country stopped," Dr. Chris Donaghue said about COVID-19.
When AIDS was discovered, the opposite reaction happened. The disease was dismissed - often being referred to as the "gay plague".
"It wasn't spoken about, information wasn't shared. Gay men died alone and isolated due to fear," Donaghue added.
However, despite the difference in virus, there are some similarities.
"Coronavirus also owes a debt to the HIV or AIDS activist community which pushed the government to fund the science that opened an entirely new field of viral studies that has lead to incredible advancements in HIV treatment. The same advancement measures that could applicable to coronavirus studies as well," Plus Life Chief Medical Expert, Dr. Anu Seshadri says.
Another area where the two viruses share some commonalities is the stigma that can be associated with both. The fear of the unknown can cause many to discriminate against others based on factless assumptions and lack of proper scientific based information.
HIV/AIDS patients in the early days of the pandemic were all too often left alone, even when seeking medical care in hospitals. Out of fear, even medical professionals refused to provide care. Thankfully, the lessons learned about human compassion and kindness have meant a whole new approach to how those suffering with COVID-19 are cared for.
For more information on COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS be sure to check out PlusLifeMedia.com or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
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