JM has only briefly commented about LTL in interviews, but confirmation has been given by MP in other sources that this premise is basically correct.
Learning to Live was inspired by the AIDS epidemic. Particularly, the “from a common fear… reach for life” passage, but the rest fits snugly with the AIDS theme.
Some lyrics seems to have been lifted from Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”:
He had no time for pain, no energy for anger. Within a few weeks, it was over; the blinding stabs of hatred ceased and did not return. He was back in confident self-control on the evening when he telephoned Eddie Willers.”