Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Democracy Now, Euronews, and NBC News on World AIDS Day — remembering one pandemic in the midst of another

Today is World AIDS Day, a day I haven't observed here for six years and both of those times I was late.* Today, I am finally celebrating it on time with three video stories about the AIDS pandemic in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I begin with Democracy Now's World AIDS Day Is Grim Reminder of an Ongoing Epidemic, with 700,000 Dead from HIV/AIDS in 2019.

December 1 is World AIDS Day, and as the world waits on an effective vaccine for COVID-19, we look at the ongoing AIDS epidemic and how the coronavirus has threatened treatment for those living with HIV. Author and journalism professor Steven Thrasher says the coronavirus has amplified racial, class and other disparities, just as AIDS has done for decades, and that treatments must have an antiracist and anti-capitalist foundation in order to be successful. "HIV/AIDS has continued to kill way too many people. Almost 700,000 people died last year," says Thrasher. "The problem is not just the drugs. It's the conditions around people's lives that lead them to become affected by viruses."
Including this video reminded me of two things unrelated to either HIV or coronavirus. First, although I have a label for Democracy Now, I haven't used it since 2013. The second is about Democracy Now's position on the Media Bias Chart. Ad Fontes Media, the organization that created and maintains the Media Bias Chart, "rates Democracy Now as hyper-partisan left in terms of bias and as mixed reliability in terms of reliability." That's probably why I haven't used Democracy Now as a source of serious news during the past seven years. Still, it did a good job of reporting on the story even as it filtered the news through its point of view, which is very anti-capitalist. I don't think they're wrong, but I am taking their perspective into account.

The next video I'm sharing, World Aids day: WHO calling on leaders [to] maintain HIV services during pandemic from Euronews in English, frames its story from a more neutral and international position.

WHO calling on leaders [to] maintain HIV services during pandemic

HIV testing and other services are like all other medical services during the COVID-19 pandemic; people are taking less advantage of them and resources are being diverted to treating people infected with the novel coronavirus. That's not good for the patients of other diseases.

By the way, the original video had "ton" instead of "to." The prompted me to respond with "To maintain, not 'ton maintain,' although the services are worth 'a ton,' whether it's 2000 pounds or 1000 kg." I hope that gentle reminder inspires them to correct the title and video description.

Finally, I am sharing AIDS Victims Remembered By Loved Ones In World AIDS Day Tribute from NBC News.

Watch as loved ones of AIDS victims share their emotional stories and tributes from the AIDS Memorial Instagram account on World AIDS Day.
In addition to remembering to care for the living, we should remember the many dead from the disease.

*Today is also Giving Tuesday and one of two Rosa Parks Days. I celebrated Giving Tuesday this year over at the Coffee Party USA blog. Please surf over there to support my favorite nonprofit. I last celebrated Rosa Parks Day in 2018. When I next honor her memory, I might follow through on writing about her Detroit connections, which I wrote were "a story for another day." Not today, but maybe next year. Stay tuned.

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