From AIDS to Lyme: Will We Let History Repeat Itself? (see link to entire story below)
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 09:59
By Jessica Bernstein, Truthout | News Analysis
“We’re here because this government has the resources to deal with the AIDS epidemic and they won’t do it unless we force them.” – ACT Up activist protesting the FDA,1988
“I am one of the 300,000 plus annual Lyme patients being ignored by the CDC and HMOs.” – Lyme disease activist protesting online as part of the “We are the 300,000” movement, 2013.
Anyone who lived through the AIDS epidemic of the early ’80s will never forget the unimaginable devastation that was inflicted upon an entire generation of people. But too many Americans younger than 40 have little knowledge of this profound chapter in American history or the revolutionary struggle waged by AIDS activists to propel the disease into the national spotlight and force government officials to address the mounting epidemic.
David France, director of How to Survive a Plague, the Academy Award-nominated documentary about AIDS activism, explains how initially the epidemic was completely ignored:
It really is hard to remember because it seems so improbable that a disease could wash into our country and be ignored politically the way this one was. One would have assumed that an apparently infectious disease would get responded to by public health authorities and politicians with some urgency and that just was not the case. And so what went from 1981 as an infection in 41 people that we knew of, since then was allowed to grow into a massive and global pandemic.
After years of government neglect of the AIDS crisis, which to this day causes almost 2 million deaths worldwide, one would think that health officials would have learned from their mistakes.
But some would say that history is repeating itself with Lyme disease. And
Dr. Marc Conant – who was at the forefront of the AIDS movement – is one of those people.
Dr. Conant was one of the first physicians to identify AIDS in 1981 and is founder of the SF AIDS Foundation. He is also one of the few people from the AIDS movement to have crossed over into the Lyme disease struggle.
Dr. Conant got involved with Lyme when he began noticing that the medical establishment did not believe in “chronic Lyme disease” – a term used to describe the notion that the Lyme bacterial infection can persist past the recommended 2 to 4 weeks of antibiotic treatment. He also heard it implied that patients who believed that they had chronic Lyme disease were crazy.”
READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE IN IT’S ENTIRETY HERE:
Truth-out.org “From AIDS to Lyme: Will We Let History Repeat Itself?”