Kindness Heals –
DECEMBER 1, 2018 – We could choose to provide education and offer the means to prevent transmission such as syringe access programs, safe consumption facilities and shifting the government’s response to drug use away from the police and toward the health and well-being of people who use drugs. But more than 35 years after the epidemic exploded in the U.S. and despite more than 600,000 deaths, the U.S. government has refused to promote, adopt and fund these life-saving practices. As a result, there are nearly 50,000 new cases of HIV infection in the U.S. each year. Many of those who become infected live at the intersection of multiple forms of stigma and exclusion: people who inject drugs, gay and bisexual men, people of color, transgender women and sex workers. Our government’s policies and practices send a clear message: unlike health care professionals, the lives of these people are expendable.