AIDS is a behaviorally spread disease. COVID-19 is not.
It is fully insane to equate engaging in risky sexual behavior or injecting illegal drugs with simply leaving your home to go to school, go to work or go buy groceries.
Over the last three years, many people have treated COVID-19 as some sort of pagan "god" that punishes us if we misbehave. I have seen people say that the reason they caught the virus is because they were not careful enough. It's as if humans can somehow control nature. We cannot, which is why this statement by Slate is anti-science, pagan nonsense:
To be sure, HIV would end if people stopped having sex or injecting drugs, and COVID would end if people just stayed home. Given that this isn’t going to happen, condoms, clean needles, and masks can reduce risk.
AIDS is a behaviorally-spread disease, which spreads when an infected person's bodily fluids enter another person's body. With extremely rare exceptions, you cannot get AIDS unless you engage in risky sexual behavior or inject illegal drugs. COVID-19 is a highly contagious, airborne respiratory virus, just like the common cold. Most of us have no idea where or how we picked up the common cold when we start feeling lousy. The same is true with this new virus.
Furthermore, it is fully insane to equate engaging in risky sexual behavior or injecting illegal drugs with simply leaving your home to go to school, go to work or go buy groceries. Locking people in their homes was never a realistic solution to ending the spread of COVID-19, especially in the long term. Avoiding dangerous behavior is and has always been totally realistic.
The other reason that the comparison is deeply flawed is that lockdowns also had dramatic negative effects, damaging children's education, increasing depression and leading to increases in suicide, alcoholism and drug overdoses. Many small businesses closed and many people lost their jobs. Not engaging in promiscuous sex or not using illegal drugs has no negative consequences and quite a few positive outcomes.
It is very important that we trust public health authorities, especially during a global pandemic capable of killing hundreds of thousands or millions of people. The 1918 influenza pandemic killed more people than the World War 1 - a war that was so terrible that people called it "the war to end all wars." But if we are going to trust the public health establishment, they need to be trustworthy. COVID-19 proved that vast swaths of "experts" cannot be trusted, and they continue to beclown themselves by equating COVID-19 with AIDS. That lack of trustworthiness is dangerous and is getting people killed.