One of the most sought-after tickets on Broadway these days is “Angels in America,” a revival of Tony Kushner’s seminal play about the AIDS crisis and its aftermath. While only a few of us will be fortunate enough to see the show in person, everyone can benefit from the following insight: When the play originally debuted in 1991, HIV/AIDS was considered a death sentence and slapped with a stigma that isolated and ostracized those with the disease and their families. The same type of stigma is happening now with substance abuse and the opioid epidemic.
Since 1991, we have learned how to treat, humanize, and support those with HIV/AIDS so they can live long and productive lives. How that happened is a complicated story. But the first step was as simple as it was bold: recognize and address the stigma.
Read more from Dr. Kapoor in STATS (6-1-2018).
Dr. Sandeep Kapoor is an assistant professor of medicine and emergency medicine at the
Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.