9: Licensed to Touch: Learnings from Ward 5B
How did misinformation, hysteria and fear surrounding the first HIV/AIDS outbreak turn into community, compassion and love? The HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s also brought forth homophobia and panic. Already stigmatized by society as having “gay cancer,” HIV and AIDS patients were discriminated against by their own healthcare providers in the spaces that were intended to provide them support and treatment. Outraged with the lack of care being provided to HIV and AIDS patients, San Francisco General Hospital’s Ward 5B nurses Alison Moed, Cliff Morrison and Guy Vandenberg set aside their own fears to rally around and provide humane and dignified care to these patients when their health and well-being depended on it. Their extraordinary actions have transformed and established a new standard of care that is used around the world for those living with HIV and AIDS.
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