Forum Explores COVID-19 & AIDS
On World AIDS Day, the National AIDS Memorial presented a national online conversation about a new pandemic, COVID-19, which overshadowed the usual discussion on World AIDS Day about HIV and AIDS.
Hosted by Judith Light, the speakers included New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Alicia Garza, AIDS Memorial Quilt Founder Cleve Jones, Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David, Dr. David Ho, and Dr. Anthony Fauci. FAM was proud to be a Community Sponsor of the forum.
Although online communication is not new to the national conversation that happens every World AIDS Day, this year’s topics for discussion were quite different.
While discussions in previous years were focused primarily on memorializing those lost, battling stigma, as well as sharing news of new HIV developments, breakthroughs, treatments and prevention, this year’s forum focused largely on the appalling loss and government response to Covid-19: its impact on marginalized communities, activism and how it sparks change and movements, and medical and scientific advancements.
Not only did top HIV experts discuss the virus’s impact on those with HIV, but they also shared lessons learned from HIV that are applicable to the current pandemic. It was apparent to attendees that in order to develop a COVID-19 vaccine “at warp speed,” our nation turned to the many doctors, scientists and researchers who spent much of their careers seeking cures and life-saving treatment for HIV and AIDS.