Ebola virus draws parallels to AIDS epidemic

Posted at 5:31 AM, Oct 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-28 05:32:58-04

NEW YORK (PIX11)-- The virus is different, but the fear is the same.

Anyone whose forgotten the frenzy at the height of the AIDS epidemic need to look no farther than the award-winning HBO documentary 'Normal Heart.'

Unlike Mayor Ed Koch's failure to adequately respond to the AIDS crisis back then, community leaders, while they may disagree with the approach, have high praise for today's leaders standing together and calmly assuring people.

Part of the fear is that people form the most affected countries will be stigmatized and there's concern that people might choose to conceal their possible exposure to Ebola for fear of being unnecessarily quarantined. And could history repeat itself-- like the case of Ryan White, the teenager who was expelled from school because he became infected with HIV.

Ebola is far worse than AIDS in that it can be absorbed through the skin and kills quickly.

Governor Christie and Governor Cuomo have come under criticism for their directive for the quarantine of individuals suspected of having Ebola. Cuomo defended his action.

Despite the protestations of nurse Kaci Nickox over her being quarantined even though she tested negative for Ebola, Gov. Christie still believes he did the right thing.