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Recognizing World AIDS Day 2021

While serving as a clinical nurse specialist at Maryland’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), Christine Grady received an unforgettable piece of advice from a patient in her care: “The most important thing that you can do is not to judge me.”

This patient contracted an AIDS-related illness during the early 1980s, a time when the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome and HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS) provoked intense moral censure in North America and around the world. The first known modes of transmitting HIV—through sexual activity and intravenous drug use—reinforced existing forms of discrimination including homophobia, misogyny, and anti-Black racism. This stigma exacerbated an already devastating diagnosis: a median survival time of 18 months.

Read the full memo from Kelly Hannah Moffat, VP, People Strategy, Equity & Culture