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Learning From One Pandemic to Live With Another

Two great pandemics of the past fifty years – HIV and COVID-19 – have shaken societies around the globe. The immediate crisis of COVID-19 has many of the hallmarks of the early HIV pandemic – fear, rapid action, wall-to-wall media coverage and political attention. In time, we learned to live with HIV. As we enter its fourth decade, what insights from HIV can help us live with COVID-19?


Many people were buoyed by the initial success of our response to COVID-19. It appeared strong leadership from the National Cabinet and an equally strong response from the community had put us well on track to end COVID-19. However, we have now learned that as long as there is transmission, there is potential for the pandemic to re-emerge. Despite our best hopes, a vaccine for all will be some way off.


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By developing a Reconciliation Action Plan, we hope to clearly identify actions and realistic targets detailing steps and priorities that advise on the rights, health and dignity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are impacted by HIV or at risk of HIV.

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