Professor Damien Ridge, Professor of Health Studies and Research Director at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, co-wrote an article with Jose Catalan for The Psychologist about lessons to learn from the HIV epidemic for pathways out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Talking about the COVID-19 vaccine, they wrote: “News of the development and availability of effective vaccines against COVID-19 offers hope at a time when we are demoralised by the health, social, and economic impact of the pandemic. Encouraging as this news is, we know that vaccines alone will not end the pandemic. Here, it’s vital we stop and think about where we have got to and what remains to be done. In this context, we can learn from another viral epidemic that was first recognised 40 years ago, and that we are still facing: HIV.”

They later added: “The lesson from the HIV epidemic is that although effective prevention and treatment of coronavirus infection is ever closer, we are still facing a pandemic that is social in nature. Eradicating coronavirus, like eradicating HIV, requires more than pharmaceuticals. The actions of individuals, communities and politicians matter greatly, and effective public health measures need to be prioritised over the short-term politically expedient.”

Read the full article on The Psychologist’s website

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