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Author Topic: AIDS in America  (Read 1641 times)

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Offline vertigo

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AIDS in America
« on: May 18, 2014, 11:50:01 AM »
Interesting story in the New Republic on why AIDS hit so hard in the US:


Beyond just the historical context, the article says that the epicenter for new infections is in the American South.

Offline wolfter

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Re: AIDS in America
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2014, 12:59:38 PM »
Although informative, I think a lot of the reasoning was over simplified. 

I've used this example before;  growing up in a rural southern Ohio community, my gay friends and I had no fear and little knowledge of the gay plague that was attacking larger "gay" cities.  There were no discussions about the virus and we didn't have the modern day resources to learn about it.  We only saw an occassional blip here and there in the media.

We NEVER dreamt this unknown plague was slowing creeping across the nation, infecting some bands of gay people.  Stigma was so great, that even after diagnosis, it was such a deep seated secret that the virus continued to be passed on.  We were just getting over the shame of gayness and finally enjoying copious amounts of sex.  Casual sex was no longer shameful, but rather enjoyful.

I know of only 1 other gay man from our circle that still is living.  By the time society realized this wasn't just a big city issue; it was too late.  I'm certain that scenario played out across the land.  We pretty much had our own patient zero.  A friend  couple of years older than me moved to SF in the early 80's and returned home a few years later.  He returned gorgeous as ever and resumed the previous lifestyle.

He was the first person to die and then they started dropping enmasse.  Back then, if you slept with one man, you pretty much slept with every gay man in the tri-county area.

Being honest is not wronging others, continuing the dishonesty is.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: AIDS in America
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2014, 01:31:21 PM »
The article is correct about the Haiti-gay vacation spot connection. I was friends in the 90's with a guy who was an ex-Studio 54 era queen, so he was ~25 years older than me (rather wealthy jet set type) and his group used to regularly go down to Haiti in the 1970's. So that could explain the NYC explosion. Coupled with the amount of San Francisco/LA folks that would fly into NYC for parties pre-circuit days at places like Flamingo and The Saint and you had easy bi-coastal infections in large numbers early on. And then as the article states you see a slightly smaller UK/US connection -- my Studio 54 friend was actually from London originally and flew back and forth there for work and family, etc.

As far as the "clustering effect" one can see that even today -- in Philadelphia infections are tracked down to zip code areas and vary wildly across the city. Very easy to see on a map in a place comprising only 140 sq. miles.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline tednlou2

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Re: AIDS in America
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 01:05:32 AM »
Back then, if you slept with one man, you pretty much slept with every gay man in the tri-county area.


This is still very true for Louisville.  I think there are about a million people in the entire metro area.  I swear it seems we've all shared the same partners and tricks.  If you had dinner with 5 gay men here, it would be very likely at least 2 of you had sex or dated the same guy.  And, another fucked him, but didn't know his name-- so he has no idea who you're talking about. 

Anyway, very interesting article.  Before it was mentioned, I kept thinking of how the Reagan administration ignored the growing fire and I kept thinking about the needle exchange policies.  I did wonder about the AIDS-death reporting methods in the various countries.  The stats about those in Europe being on HAART more than Americans also made me wonder.  I thought they still required a patient to get to 350 before paying for meds-- although I think that's changing?  Perhaps we haven't been pushing 500 and then for meds for all long enough to make a difference in those figures.  My point is I thought we would have a higher percentage on HAART, because we didn't have a certain threshold in order to have meds covered.  Perhaps it is other European countries that had that threshold and I'm mistaking these countries for those. 

Offline eric48

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Re: AIDS in America
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2014, 10:10:36 AM »
Thanks Vertigo for the link

In Western Europe death directly due to AIDS is indeed becoming really low, but when you include Eastern Europe, then the figures are not so good


I could not find more recent data, at least in one only document

Table 24 sums up deaths

It really shows how the epidemics has spread in IDUs of former Soviet Union

One growing concern is clusters in sub communities through Apps (Grinder...)

So in the US the epicenter is moving South and Europe moving East ...


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