"When the Black Plague killed a third of the population in Asia and Europe in the middle of the 14th century, civilization gave way to barbarism. Societies were destabilized, families were destroyed, leaders abandoned their people, the rich fled, and Jews were blamed and burned.
AIDS did much the same thing in 1980s America. To say the Reagan administration abandoned people with AIDS implies that it was once at their side, however, and that was never the case, not for a single minute. Many of the rich and powerful turned a blind eye to the death and suffering, rationalizing AIDS in religious terms as God's punishment of homosexuals, even secretly welcoming AIDS as a eugenic societal cleansing. Instead of the Jews, it was the gays, intravenous drug users, and Haitians who bore the brunt of blame in the early years. They weren't burned, but they were left to die just as surely."