Don’t Touch Your Face

Don’t Touch Your Face: What the AIDS Epidemic Tells Us About COVID-19


On our final episode (for now), we examine an older public health crisis and the lessons it offers.

On this week’s episode, Don’t Touch Your Face hosts Amy Mackinnon and James Palmer look back at the AIDS epidemic and what lessons it may hold for the coronavirus pandemic. They are joined by Xio Mora-Lopez, a longtime HIV survivor and activist, and Abraham Verghese, an infectious disease specialist and author of My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story of a Town and Its People in the Age of AIDS

This is the last episode in this season of Don’t Touch Your Face. But keep an eye on your podcast feeds for future bonus episodes and further limited series of the show. 

Further Reading

In This Pandemic, Personal Echoes of the AIDS Crisis,” New York Times

There’s an eye-opening difference between the way the New York Times reported 100,000 coronavirus deaths and 100,000 AIDS deaths,” Pink News

Living With HIV When You Expected to Die,” Medium

About Don’t Touch Your Face:  On the last day of 2019, China reported an unusual outbreak in Wuhan, a port city with a population of 11 million. Within two months, the disease would spread to almost every continent on the globe and kill thousands of people. From Foreign Policy, a podcast about the extent of the COVID-19 contagion, the threat it poses, and what countries are doing to contain it. Join FP’s James Palmer and Amy Mackinnon as they track the spread of the virus and explore what it means for people’s everyday lives. Have a coronavirus question for us to explore? Email it to  See All Episodes

More Don’t Touch Your Face episodes:

Don’t Touch Your Face: Dating During Covid-19

On this week’s episode: How the pandemic is changing the way we meet people.

Don’t Touch Your Face: Pandemic Within a Pandemic

On this week’s episode: How the world may see more protests as lockdowns lift.

Don’t Touch Your Face: The Southeast Asia Conundrum

On this week’s episode: The infection numbers have been low, but that hasn’t stopped some leaders from using the pandemic to restrict freedoms.

Other Foreign Policy podcasts:

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