However, these ARVs only helped the individual and communal bodies who got the drugs. And in the US, this largely meant that white gay men got the drugs early and often, while black gay America largely never got them. The inability to end HIV/Aids isn’t a failure of medicine, but a failure of racial capitalism.
Hiding this epidemic is a choice, and Mike Pence and Donald Trump have made it worse. Denial, stigma and shame don’t help. This crisis requires using treatment as prevention, increasing sexual education, and undoing the homophobic health disparities caused by racial capitalism in general and the apartheid-like US healthcare system in particular.
Apologies as it is necessary to be a tad crude here.
To avoid HIV as an epidemic – there are other infection routes but they’ll not cause an epidemic – it is necessary to abstain from two behaviours, sharing needles to inject and taking it up the bum without a condom being used.
Neither of these have anything to do with race or capitalism.
Steven W Thrasher is a PhD candidate in American studies at New York University. He contributed to the recently published book The Unfinished Queer Agenda After Marriage Equality and was formerly writer-at-large for Guardian US. Twitter @thrasherxy
Ah, we’ve a PhD thesis to complete and a campaigning book to write, career to launch….