“Real Housewives” star Yolanda Foster made a striking comparison between Lyme disease and HIV.
The 52-year-old former Dutch model — who suffers from the disease along with her two children Bella, 20, and Anwar Hadid, 17 — called the tick-borne illness a “world-wide epidemic” while addressing her digital portal for women, 9 Honey, on Tuesday.
“We all pull together so beautifully for HIV,” Yolanda, who has now reverted to the last name Hadid, said.
“Lyme is three times more prevalent right now, it’s a world-wide epidemic, the first case was diagnosed in 1972… yet we haven’t done anything about it,” she added, while speaking at an event for the new vertical.
The former reality star — who is also the mother of 21-year-old supermodel Gigi Hadid — has dedicated her time to finding a cure for the illness after she and her two children were diagnosed with it four years ago.
“If HIV isn’t treated, people die. If Lyme disease isn’t treated, then people can feel unwell for a very long time,” Brad McKay told News AU.
Between 1999 and 2003 there were 114 deaths due to Lyme disease, while 6,955 people died from HIV just in 2015.
Nic Holas, founder of The Institute of Many, said Yolanda was correct about the response to HIV and that communities living with other conditions were able to learn from how HIV was treated and accepted.
“Any chronic condition needs people to step forward and put themselves forward,” Holas said.