The recent release of the much-anticipated film “The Normal Heart,” which follows a gay activist trying to raise awareness in the early years of the AIDS crisis, has sparked a renewed conversation about the disease and what exactly went wrong in the early days of the epidemic.
Phill Wilson, president of the Black AIDS Institute, spoke with HuffPost Live’s Josh Zepps about what was going on in New York City during the outbreak of AIDS. He said that not only did gay men in New York not matter at the time, but this same marginalization still applies today.
"Today, the most at-risk population for HIV are young, black, gay men," Wilson said. "And they are at risk at part because it’s yet another population that just doesn’t matter and it seems, in some ways, we’ve not learned lessons [and instead] we’ve just changed the population that doesn’t matter."
The fight against AIDS is not a thing of the past, but the tools to end the epidemic are available, Wilson said, and the question is whether there is the will and desire to take the steps to actually do so.