And The Band Played On: Mercy During the AIDS Epidemic

And The Band Played On: Mercy During the AIDS Epidemic

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…“With liberty and justice to all”, though this was not the case when the AIDS epidemic first jumped off. I believe that the only reason justice, mercy, and veracity were not served in the beginning of this battle is simply because of majority and minority. AIDS, at first, was only found to be attacking the gay population (minority), but the people that could do something about it, or controlled the money that could help with the situation were not being affected, and didn’t feel threatened by it (majority).

The gay community was given no mercy in the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. There was very little access to care, hence the reason blood work and some research was done out of a motel room. The CDC had no access to funding which made it hard for studies and research to be done without the right equipment.

The CDC, though they were doing all they could to identify AIDS, lacked the veracity that the general public deserved. The only reason is the simple fact that they couldn’t scientifically prove any of their allegations. The CDC had plenty of evidence, but nothing to back it up with. This also makes me wonder if it would have made any difference whether or not the CDC told the whole truth and nothing but the truth; would the public have listened without any real proof of anything?

At one point the CDC told the gay community that through research they found that AIDS was being transferred through sexual intercourse. This was a little hard for them to accept, but not nearly as hard as when the CDC suggest that they close down all of their bath houses. In the gay communities eyes having bath houses was the first battle won in a war for them to be seen has normal people. So they practiced their right to patient autonomy and chose to keep the bath houses open, even though they were informed that it was a contributing factor in the spread of AIDS.

Another group of people that played a role in the way this epidemic was handled was the blood bank. The blood bank was informed by the CDC that AIDS was being transferred from their blood donors to transfusion patients. The blood bank felt that since the CDC couldn’t prove it then there was no need for immediate action.

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Because of this train of thought from the blood bank they failed in their reparations to the public and continued to donate AIDS infected blood to unsuspecting patients without even a warning.

Even though all this happened, in the end, the band played on, and justice, veracity, and mercy was served, and reparation was restored to the people. The one thing that needs to be remembered, no matter the circumstances, is to always practice beneficence. It’s in everyone’s best interest.
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