Author: Sabrina Ruchelli, JD

Reflections on AIDS Awareness Month and the Case for Public Health Law Research

As we observe AIDS Awareness month this December, we find ourselves looking back on the most challenging year from a public health perspective in at least a century. The current pandemic places all of us at the direct crossroads of public policy and public health in a daily reality unrivaled in most of our previous experience. Thinking about the impact of school and business closures, restrictions on gatherings and travel, mask mandates, and how to distribute vaccines highlight just a few of the law and policy responses we now interact with to keep ourselves and each other safe. As we pause each year to recognize those living with HIV, and remember those lost to AIDS, the condition caused by the virus, we must also remember that we suffer many of those losses, especially the early ones, because of the original failures of the public health response to the HIV epidemic. These failures included but are not limited to a minimization of the government’s role in public health response and related delays to address the spread …