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What percentage of gay men died of AIDS during the 80's?

I was just a little kid during the 80's so I was oblivious to it all, but I have an 'eldergay' friend who's always telling me he has no idea how he lived through the 80's without getting HIV/AIDS, and how all of his friends at the time were dropping dead left and right. If you were in your adult years during the time, what percentage of your gay friends (or just peers) would you say were lost to AIDS?

by Anonymousreply 23811/17/2014

r1, as someone who lived through that period and lost friends, I don't see OP's question as at all insensitive. It's a very important question and I'd like to know the answer.

OP, even though I lived through the 80s, I can only give you anecdotal evidence. And all I can say is that i know many gay men, including myself, who survived (including some who became positive very early on and are still with us), and also know many gay men who died.

by Anonymousreply 301/31/2013

Not that many for me. Maybe 15%.

by Anonymousreply 801/31/2013

Snark alert @ R5

by Anonymousreply 901/31/2013

And I was involved in gay and AIDS activism, otherwise the number would have been under 5%.

by Anonymousreply 1101/31/2013

[quote]Why people pay $18 to be subjected to this is beyond me. I've certainly learned my lesson!

You know something? It's only a tiny percentage that are nasty for the sake of it. It just seems like more because they sort of jump up at you. But you do need to develop a thick skin and never start a new thread when you're feeling vulnerable or sensitive, especially about something that you feel sensitive about.

Also, it's good to answer back and stand your ground. They tend to fall away. They're just bullies and bullies are always cowards.

by Anonymousreply 1201/31/2013

The obituary section in most gay magazines were pretty full on a weekly basis.

If I had to take a HUGE guess, I'd say 10% or less died.

But that's of the whole population - if you took those between 25 and 40, I'm guessing it was like 25%, maybe more?

by Anonymousreply 1301/31/2013

I really would like an answer to this question.

by Anonymousreply 1801/31/2013

A lot of guys who were staring to come out of the closet in the era of AIDS went running back in and never came out.

by Anonymousreply 2001/31/2013

Using roughly math and assuming EVERY AIDS death in the 1980s was a gay man...

Number of AIDS deaths in the USA 1980 -1989 (based on link) - 58,250

Number of Gay men in the USA (assuming roughly 5% of 150,000,000 American men)


So 58,250/7,500,000 = 0.7 %

by Anonymousreply 2201/31/2013

It's probably higher than that r22, but I agree it was very low. Still included a lot of people, just not a huge percentage.

by Anonymousreply 2301/31/2013

[quote](80's is possessive, and the decade did NOT own these people.)

Well, if they died, maybe it did ...

by Anonymousreply 2801/31/2013

Clearly my soul mate (or mates) died before I ever got a chance to meet him (or them).

by Anonymousreply 2901/31/2013

There were 35,000-50,000 casualties annually from 1990-1997 and then the numbers decreased from 50-80 percent because of medical advances. But there are 50,000 new cases diagnosed annually.

by Anonymousreply 3301/31/2013

Thanks for the recommendations, R30. I've seen And the Band Played On but I'll check out Longtime Companion. I found the full movie on YouTube if anyone else is interested and hasn't seen it...

by Anonymousreply 3402/01/2013

I'm not sure what R1 wants. The history of AIDS needs to be remembered, not put into a place that's never spoken of. I was lucky in that I was only 14 when it really hit so I didn't lose anyone close but throughout the years I've become close to people who are positive.

by Anonymousreply 3502/01/2013

The effects were concentrated especially in large cities with populous gay ghettos, because those infected would sleep around with multiple people in a concentrated populate population, and they would become infected, and it would exponentially increase (just as any plague increases in larger cities with infected people).

Thus your chances were much better percentage-wise if you were gay and living in Boise or Duluth than if you were gay and living in San Francisco (which was hit worse than any other city) or Manhattan.

by Anonymousreply 3702/01/2013

Well I grew up in a small town. I was 17 in 1980 so no internet, computers, TV shows or anything really except a one hour radio show called IMRU.

It was only that show where I heard that some people in the big cities were breaking out with some kind of gay cancer. They didnt even know how it was spread or why it seemed to only affect gay men. It seemed like only a hand full of people.

7 years later, I am living in Los Angels with my partner from the same town. I was monogamous so I thought I was safe. We broke up. I start dating, meet a guy and we decided to go get tested together. I though for sure he was positive but I was going to be ok with that. After a 2 week waiting period, we finally got the results. Went in to pic up the paper work from the clinic and the guy says, "well, your positive"

I was devastated. No cure, my prognosis was not good. I held it in for about a month until I told my family or any other friends.

A big recession hit, office closed and I lost my job. My X would not go get tested no matter how much I begged him. Died two years later. His family was freaky religious so I raise money for his funeral and did all the speaking myself.

I decided to do something for other people before I left the planet. I signed up to be a guinea pig for some unknown double blind drug test. Even though it might ruin my chances of good drugs working later, I felt if it helped other gay people down the line it was worth it. I never got to find out the results.

I was really depressed and alone, without a job, part of my life gone and looking at impending doom. So I did what all self respecting gay men do, I went to a bar.

Felling sorry for myself, the bar was having a fundraiser for someone with AIDS in need of financial help. It was like that every week in those days. I chipped in a few bucks for a raffle thinking at lest its something, because I was almost broke.

Well, out of the blue, I won the stupid raffle. The guy came to give me the cash and said if you want, some people kick back a couple of dollars. I though you know what, that guy is hurting, he need it more then I do, I told him to take the entire pot of cash and give it to the person being honored. The bar cheered and I was embarrassed. (it was the first time in a leather bar. LOL)

Things turned for me on that day. I realized I was being selfish all that time. Things changed after that. A few years later they invented combination therapy (the cocktail). It seemed to be working, people stopped dropping like fly. The doctors offices went from standing room only, to one or two people in the lounge and even laying staff off.

Maybe I was just lucky. I saw a lot of other people die who didn't respond well to the drugs. But somehow I am still alive.

I am undetectable and never had an opportunistic infection (AIDS diagnosis). I'm in another long term relationship, and guys still occasionally flirt with me.

I survived the war, but still shell shocked. So cut some of us older gays some slack next time you call us bitter trolls and write us off. We have been through a lot you younger guys will fortunately, never have to experience.

by Anonymousreply 4002/01/2013

R40, thanks for posting your story.

Actually, thanks to everyone on the thread for posting.

by Anonymousreply 4102/01/2013

Omg, it was awful. I miss my dear friends that died so tragically.

by Anonymousreply 4202/01/2013

I was younger, but it seemed like back then it was mostly friends of friends that were in their mid 20s to mid 30s.

Some guys would just give up and not even try to save themselves. Would not go to doctors since there was no cure. Partied their ass off till they got too sick to play.

I had one friend that I lost contact with when he moved across country. I found out he died when I walked into a new clinic and his name and picture was on the wall in his honor.

The first gay bar I ever went to, I knew 3 bar tenders, the owner, and patrons. Evey single one of theme that worked there is now dead. Still hard to wrap my head around that.

It was random like that. Some people were immensely effected and other sort of slipped by without much notice.

by Anonymousreply 4302/01/2013

That sad part is, most of the younger guys today think its an eldergay problem. Or they will only get it if they sleep with old guys.

The reality is, HIV infection rate is higher in the 20 something age group now then when AIDS first came out.

by Anonymousreply 4502/01/2013

The phobia and fear level was high then too. Doctors didn't know what to do so they were just giving guys cortisone shot in their lymph nodes.

I remember a then elder gay telling me to watch out for that. He pointed out a couple of guys in a gay bar that had these huge welts like a bee sting on their necks.

by Anonymousreply 4702/01/2013

I have to say, Lesbians despite their normal standoffish demeanor really jumped in to help us boys. None of them were getting sick so they could have just ignored the whole problem. But some of them did really get out there and help us raise money, start organizations, and really the first time I felt we were brothers and sisters.

I often wonder now with the new generation of women if they would rise to the occasion given that they are completely disassociated from the experience their elder sisters experienced.

by Anonymousreply 4802/01/2013

A better question, R48, is whether gay men would ever rise up to help their lesbian sisters.

by Anonymousreply 5102/01/2013

My point is that we grossly exaggerate the numbers for dramatic effect, as if the truth wasn't bad enough. When you lie to make a point you lose credibility. Credibility on this topic is kind of important.

[quote]241,279 deaths from AIDS is equal to 120 TIMES MORE then all of the men lost in war since 911.

[quote]That' still a big hit to one generation.

So true! Both of those statements stand on their own. But when you throw in "There were 35,000-50,000 casualties annually from 1990-1997" you are wrong and you pollute everything else you say.

by Anonymousreply 5202/01/2013

Gay men paved the way for all gay people, so yes, R48 I think they would.

Gay men don't mind lesbians in their hangouts, not true the other way around.

The younger gay men are just tired of straight women using them to fill in for their husbands that wont dance with them, shop with or do couples things with them other then sex. Oh and help them move AND redecorate.

Lesbians don't seem to USE gay men that way. So, gay men don't usually have a problem with gay women. Other then you guys just seem to disappear for years at a time then reappear as if nothing happened.

by Anonymousreply 5302/01/2013

R5 is a stupid dick. 80's is right WITH the apostrophe. You don't say the Roaring 20s. You say the Roaring 20's. In this case it's not used as possessive. Learn the fucking English language, then post.

by Anonymousreply 5402/01/2013

Rock Hudson was probably the most famous actor at the time to die of AIDS. Most people, except gay in the know thought he was straight.

While a lot of people embraced his openness about it, I feel it was just a last minute ditch to save his legacy.

He was basically going to doctors for years, knew what he had and hid it until about 2 weeks before his death. What did he have to loose?

Most of those celebrities did nothing for us in the beginning like they fain now.

Pay attention younger gay men, the only celebrity to say screw it, I dont care what people say, and come to our defense was Elizabeth Taylor. YEARS before anyone else.

She was not just some Hollywood diva like what we got today.

by Anonymousreply 6002/01/2013

There was only one person that I know of back then who came out before they were on their death bed and that was Elizabeth Glaser.

She was the wive of Paul Micheal Glaser (Starsky & Hutch)

Got HIV from a blood transfusion during child birth. There is a whole foundation created in her name. One of her kids died of it too passed on at birth.

by Anonymousreply 6102/01/2013

R60, I agree that Hudson was no hero to gays for announcing he had AIDS at the last minute. But I disagree that his being gay was only widely known in the gay community. I remember my mom, from the WW2 generation, remarking that "everyone knew he was gay." The tabloids successfully outed him to the mainstream long before he was dying of AIDS.

by Anonymousreply 6202/01/2013

Why did Hudson do Dynasty? Didn't it really put him back in the public eye for the wrong reasons?

by Anonymousreply 6302/01/2013

Well that's funny R 62. I asked my mom that same question. She said there were rumors, but people back then didn't talk about that stuff in polite company. You wouldn't just bring that up at a party. So lots of people didn't now. There was no TMZ or over the line paparazzi. If fact, he sort of had a deal with the press not to talk about it.

Everyone knew, but it was a secret.

by Anonymousreply 6502/01/2013

[quote]This is why I can't understand why the fuck little hipster gaylings (or even worse, deluded, nostalgic eldergays) wish to romanticize/idealize the '80s as some "cool, fun" decade. Yeah. Reagan, AIDS, Republicans. Sooo great. Sooo fun.

Hmm, I don't know--maybe the fact that we were "little hipster gaylings" at the time & were oblivious to all those negative things you just listed? God forbid we reminisce about our childhoods when, from our perspectives at the time, life WAS cool and fun. You're obviously one of those people who wants everyone around you to be just as miserable as you are. Well it ain't happening!

by Anonymousreply 7002/01/2013

Thank you for sharing your story, R40.

by Anonymousreply 7202/01/2013


by Anonymousreply 7302/01/2013

I wonder how the counts were made -- one man I knew died from a heart attack from the damage AZT wrought. In the final count, as he an AIDS death or a cardiac casualty?

by Anonymousreply 7502/01/2013

[quote]This is why I can't understand why the fuck little hipster gaylings (or even worse, deluded, nostalgic eldergays) wish to romanticize/idealize the '80s as some "cool, fun" decade.

It's the same with any decade that is 'idealized'. The roaring 20s (or 20's, or '20s) was actually a decade that of great racism, xenophobia, suppression of free speech and economic turmoil. We think of it as all Charleston and flappers and bathtub gin.

by Anonymousreply 7602/01/2013

Exactly, R76.

A lot of gay men romanticized the 70s as this fabulous era of free love, massive amounts of sex and drugs available at all times and just a non-stop party.

But the 70s were really uncertain and bumpy. There was massive gas shortages, the hostage crisis, Nixon's resignation, and a few big recessions. It was the beginning of the total collapse of manufacturing in the US.

And as for the clubs/sex - it did exist, but in far fewer places than the books and movies would have us think.

by Anonymousreply 7802/01/2013

It was a nightmare.

by Anonymousreply 7902/01/2013

I was just hitting my teens when AIDS hit, so I was terrified of having sex until I was well into my twenties.

I was in a community theater production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1987 or so in a mid-size Midwest town. Large male cast, 12 disciples, Jesus, Judas, Pilate, priests, etc., so probably 20-25 guys in the cast, not all of them gay, but plenty of them. At least 10 died of AIDS, if you include the guy who killed himself sometime after testing positive.

by Anonymousreply 8102/01/2013

I came out 10-15 years after the first case, but even in the mid-90s I can remember - in my small little ass backwards rust belt town - being in a gay bar one Friday night.

One guy in the group of the "in" clique of bitches at the bar tested positive and either someone blabbed or he told the wrong person, but in any case, word traveled fast.

He went to join his friends - nasty ass bitches - and they all looked at him, gave him the wordless stink eye - and turned their back on him.

I still hate them.

I can't imagine dealing with the actual virus/illness and then also getting that kind of treatment from people.

It boggles my mind, but while we had a lot of people helping and fighting the epidemic, there was also plenty of people who gave that sort of shitty treatment to those with HIV/AIDS.

by Anonymousreply 8402/01/2013

r40 That's a very inspiring account.

I wish you a long and happy life.

by Anonymousreply 8502/01/2013

So in the 80s, if you were not hot, maybe you were lucky?

by Anonymousreply 8802/02/2013

[quote]30,000 a year is 1% of 3 million.

Where do you get 30,000 a year? And why 3 million (1 % of the US population? Is that supposed to be the number of gay men?)

by Anonymousreply 9102/02/2013

Timing of when a person contracted the virus was key to survival.

Brian May of Queen said if Freddie Mercury contracted the disease a few years later (he is estimated to have gotten HIV about 1986-87), he would have survived with the advances in medicine and research.

by Anonymousreply 9402/02/2013

WELL! Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.

by Anonymousreply 9802/02/2013

wtf r97?

by Anonymousreply 9902/02/2013

r53 rocks!!

by Anonymousreply 10002/02/2013

I once heard Bob Hope casually say on tv, that some famous hollywood names, some of them very big, died of Aids. He said the papers listed some other cause for their deaths.

by Anonymousreply 10402/03/2013

AIDS deaths seem bigger because they were concentrated in Florida, New York and San Francisco. Smaller concentrations were in Los Angeles, New Orleans, DC and Atlanta. Still smaller were the major cities like Chicago, Philly and Boston.

This made the problem seem worse because you had pockets where large numbers of gays died. On the flip side you had cities largely untouched by the AIDS crisis, in the west and in rural states like Maine, Vermont and Arkansas.

AIDS has always been blown out of proportion to it's casualties, because people assumed it would get into the general population.

When this failed to happen, the real treatments and problem solving started to happen.

by Anonymousreply 10502/03/2013

{R88] Has been taken to task for insensitivity. Perhaps that is true,however, I have often thought perhaps I was lucky that I wasn't the hottest little fuck bunny around.

by Anonymousreply 10702/03/2013

Why Florida? That seems kind of random.

by Anonymousreply 10802/03/2013

r110, I don't understand how Reagan and his cronies could have started the epidemic. Most of the guys who got sick early on probably sero-converted 5-10 years earlier.

by Anonymousreply 11202/03/2013

Please don't confuse the tin-hats with facts, R112.

by Anonymousreply 11402/03/2013

or Ford or Carter.

by Anonymousreply 11602/03/2013

Yes, I'm sure Jerry Ford set out to mastermind the extinction of the gay community. Good grief.

by Anonymousreply 11702/03/2013

According to the CDC, by the end of 1989, 90,628 had died of AIDS and another 60,711 were PWA.

If anyone knows where I could find the state stats broken up by counties, that would be a help.

by Anonymousreply 12002/03/2013

Where did you get those stats r120? I'm not finding that breakdown on the CDC website. Interesting though that the site says that only 46 % of all HIV infections in the USA were from Male to Male sexual contact.

by Anonymousreply 12102/03/2013

[quote] I will assume you are asking a real question just in case your are young. So no not all bottoms. Butter risk only because its possible to get fucked and not know that you might have got a small tear inside.

Is that English? Butter? I'm confused. How do tops get HIV? I guess it's just spread throughout versatiles?

by Anonymousreply 12202/03/2013

How does the virus get shot into your system if you're topping?

by Anonymousreply 12402/03/2013

R121 -- the site I found back in 2005 (when I researched a history for the 30th anniversary of the first NYTimes article) had cases diagnosed and deaths by year starting in 1980.

Your table kind of groups them all into periods and doesn't list deaths separately.

by Anonymousreply 12502/03/2013

R124 blowjobs?

by Anonymousreply 12602/03/2013

This site seems to match your figures, r125.

This map gives Diagnosis breakdown by state

by Anonymousreply 12702/03/2013

Sorry... THIS site

by Anonymousreply 12802/03/2013

Was watching Boys in the Band on youtube the other day, and I realized that all five of the out gay actors died of AIDS. Although Peter White is still alive, and I've never been sure of his orientation. LaTourneaux who played the rentboy actually became one in real life. His story is probably the saddest of all.

by Anonymousreply 12902/03/2013

R122 and R124:

Gay tops get infected with HIV the same way that straight men get infected from screwing infected women.

by Anonymousreply 13002/03/2013

How does the virus get into the penis? Through the urethra? If your Penis doesnt tear or bleed, how do you get it? Can you get HIV from being blown? What about kissing?

by Anonymousreply 13202/04/2013

Something in saliva has been shown to suppress viral transmission, but it's not anywhere near 100%

The virus binds to mucous membranes and enters the body through them... these membranes include the inside of foreskin, the inside of the urethra, the rectum, and the inside lining of the lips and cheeks, as well as the throat.

Because of saliva, oral sex is safer than anal sex, but... "safer" isn't "safe".

There can also be micro tears in the skin... in the mouth from, say, brushing or flossing, and in the penis from, say, vigorous fucking or masturbation. And of course, it's far easier to get micro-tears in the rectum/anus. This makes it even easier for the virus to enter the blood stream.

by Anonymousreply 13302/04/2013

Random related story I thought about in light of this thread:

In the late 80's, there was a door guy at a gay club I'd go to - very hot young guy. He died about 1989 or 90. I recall one of the bartenders at the place there later stating about him words to the effect, "yeah, it's too bad, but he had a lot of fun."

Here it is now, about 25 years later and I'm still here, still attractive and fit. I never had nearly as much sex as most others did, most of the time.

There are times when I ask myself, if I could go back and overdose on sex knowing that I'd die by the age of 30, would I do it, I have to say no. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 as they say, and when your hormones are raging, you don't have much of a choice.

by Anonymousreply 13402/04/2013

69%, Rose.

by Anonymousreply 13502/04/2013

[quote]All you have to do is go to a city like NY or SF and count the number of gay men in any given gay establishment who are over 50 compared to the number of gay men under 50.

Well, a lot of gay men outgrow these 'establishments' (I assume you are talking about bars?)

by Anonymousreply 13702/04/2013

[quote]How does the virus get into the penis?

There have been scientific studies showing that the inside of the foreskin is susceptible to "catching" the virus. They describe "receptor" cells in that area. It seems to be a major form of transmission heterosexually in africa.

by Anonymousreply 13802/04/2013

I am 50 and moved to West Hollywood in 1989 and those first 7 years there before the anti-viral cocktail were such a mixed time...I think people were trying to live in the moment and really enjoy they day...I remember the tests that people started to get...finding out their t-cells and then finding out their viral load and then doing the math and trying to figure out how much time they had and if they had a life insurance policy, should they sell it and go on vacation or some friends would just go on credit card binges because they knew they wouldn't live long enough to pay the bill if they got dragged into court...I lived in Orlando,FL from 1985 - 89 and AIDS was just beginning to show up with people ex-boyfriend tested positive and I remember he had to go in the backdoor of the doctors office in Orlando and getting AZT was something that you went to the underground for......I went to see Madonna with a group of friends in 1987 in Miami...ten of us went and only two of us are alive today.....all but one died from HIV, the other was a drug I do think a high percentage of guys in the ghettos did die....I think about 1/3 to 1/2 of the guys I knew from the Athletic Club in West Hollywood many of their names are on the West Hollywood Memorial Walk on Santa Monica Blvd....looking back on it now, it seems like some horrible science fiction movie...but reality kicks in when I occasionally run into guys from my nights Studio One or the Athletic Club....many of those that survived have moved to Palm Springs or out of town......I still live in West Hollywood....and at times, it is a ghost town to me......but am glad I survived that chapter with my health intact.....

by Anonymousreply 13902/05/2013

The foreskin, which if unfolded would measure 20 to 30 square inches (that's 400-600 inches for size queens), contains a large number of a variety of cells called Langerhans. They are concentrated on the inner foreskin layer, which lies directly against the head of the penis. Langerhan cells are biological magnets for HIV. Because of this, the inner foreskin layer can absorb HIV up to nine times more efficiently than a woman's cervix.

Usually, Langerhan cells play a protective role. They ingest pathogens and ferry them down lhymph channels along the penis to the lymph glands in your groin to be killed by white cells. A Langerhan cell will swallow HIV as readily as any other bacteria or virus, but unlike other pathogens, HIV will reproduce thousands of copies of itself inside the Langerhan's belly for the duration of its trip through your lymph system (about five days). After reaching the lymph nodes in your groin, the Langerhan cell explodes--literally--spewing tens of thousands of copies of HIV, where it then rapidly infects other immune cells before slipping into the bloodstream. If that's not enough, the intact foreskin is also susceptible to small tears and abrasions during sex that can provide even more opportunities for HIV to enter the body.

Remember, though, that HIV can (and does) enter the body through a circumcised penis via small abrasions, preexisting STDs such as herpes, and/or the urethra.

by Anonymousreply 14002/05/2013

How in the world does an unfolded foreskin measure 20-30 square inches?? You mean 2-3?

by Anonymousreply 14102/05/2013

Obviously the risk is greatest for bottoms, but there is a risk for the top.

by Anonymousreply 14602/05/2013


by Anonymousreply 15702/18/2013

While the OP's question is a good one, I think it shows how clueless the young are that they can't find the answer to, what is, a simple history question. The answer to his question is common knowledge and all he had to do was make a little effort to do some research but, instead, asks on DL??? I weep for the future.

by Anonymousreply 15802/18/2013

They all died, OP, which is why there are no gay people now; the gene pool was drained.

by Anonymousreply 15902/18/2013

[quote]While the OP's question is a good one, I think it shows how clueless the young are that they can't find the answer to, what is, a simple history question. The answer to his question is common knowledge and all he had to do was make a little effort to do some research but, instead, asks on DL??? I weep for the future.

And the 'oh so obvious' answer is...?

by Anonymousreply 16002/18/2013

Many of my favourite porn actors died of Aids so many young men its awful where did this come from.

by Anonymousreply 16105/06/2013

TO know that OP, you'd have to know how many gay men there were. And nobody anywhere has ever had a scientific answer to that question, your question cannot be answered.

by Anonymousreply 16305/07/2013

I don't even know the count. And to this day I am ashamed of this. As a straigt woman in the 80s who had a Lot of gay male friends during college at University, people kept "disappearing" and when I would ask about them "oh they are sick they went home" I was too afraid to ask why all these college friends were going home, all I know is they never came back. It was a lot of them. My only gay friend left from those days used to be nicknamed "not quite out of the closet yet stuart" one friend was from town and shared his status with me and we hung out til the end, I wish i knew what happened to the illustrious most enigmatic man I have ever known (john bales) my good friend Bootsie and Ben and all the other guys. I wish I had pushed harder to find out and been there it was such early days then. It was like here they are now there gone one by one. Be glad you weren't there.

by Anonymousreply 16506/26/2013

I think that was Sebasion Bach.

by Anonymousreply 16706/26/2013

I think you're right. I was Sebastian Bach.

by Anonymousreply 16806/26/2013

This is a very interesting and moving thread. I’m 21, so when I had my first boyfriend things had changed a lot. I don’t really talk to elder gays about how AIDS affected their life back in the 80’s, because the few times I’d asked I got pretty snarky answers. It’s not my fault that I wasn't around in the 80's and young guys today get AIDS too. The only difference is, that today you know how you could avoid it. What I’d like to know, when did people realize how to protect themselves? And how did they get the information? There was no i-net, so what did people do to educate themselves?

by Anonymousreply 17009/26/2013

LOL R5. Thank you Grammar Maven!

The OPs question can only be properly answered by splitting it between the gay ghettos and the suburbs/country.

In the ghettos it felt like half or even more.

God I miss the ghettos: I miss the way they oozed public sexuality. The pendulum will swing and it will come back, but oh the pleasure of walking down the street and seeing that wild Roman Empire sexuality of bulging 'baskets' prominently highlighted, and everyone fizzingly alive and 'up for it', instead of just wanting to drink green tea.

Today I saw a boy with big fisting scarf in his jeans. I hadn't seen one on the street for almost 20 years, so maybe the revolt against the hideous uptight judgemental PC world we now inhabit is commencing?

by Anonymousreply 17109/26/2013

"There's a new disease"

I remember saying this to a share house of gay men, and the biggest slut in the place replying:

"Well I'm going to get it, because every time I go out these days I get something!"

Everyone in that house is long, long, long dead.

Except him.

by Anonymousreply 17309/26/2013

Lots of weird terminology on this thread. You can't catch or get AIDS, you contract HIV.

by Anonymousreply 17509/26/2013

True R176

The toll in NYC at that time was devastating.

My bf's brother lived in Manhattan, was infected and somehow had the bad luck to outlast dozens of friends and lovers even though he was facing the same end. He visited and cared for them. He had the strength of will to attend every memorial service. He was a member of Act Up, took part in many of their daring acts. Appeared on national televison debating Pat Buchanan about the government's lack of response. As a therapist he continued to counsel and support gay men until months before his death. He faced things with courage.

by Anonymousreply 17709/26/2013

I looked up my five best dead friends there, R181, and not one of them was on the list.

Even the dead have "A Gays."

by Anonymousreply 18209/26/2013


How about you learning correct spelling!

by Anonymousreply 19303/27/2014

I'm surprised the numbers are so low. I thought everyone died during the 80s.

by Anonymousreply 20003/27/2014

R208, most definitely, among those who engaged in buttsex.

by Anonymousreply 20903/27/2014

I was in my 20s in the late 70s early 80s in Toronto. Of my 10 closest gay friends only one died, one became positive and is still alive and the other eight, most of whom were involved in what we now think of as unsafe sex, stayed negative.

by Anonymousreply 21103/27/2014

[quote]So…was barebacking the norm prior to HIV/AIDS then?

Yes. It was just called "fucking" then.

by Anonymousreply 21303/27/2014

I don't want to get too far off topic but that's not necessarily accurate, R202. It's misguided to suggest that thug culture is some sort of recent phenomenon. I can't think of a time in American history when there wasn't a thug culture.

Thug culture was very prevalent in the 1920s/30s, the various mafia families, The Purple gang, Bonnie and Clyde etc.... I mean drive by shootings were invented in the 1920s and many murder records from those days still haven't been surpassed ( even much of the thug lingo still in use today was established back then). Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Buckshot Roberts... were all thugs. The problem is our society has a tendency to glamorize and romanticize thug culture. We've had countless Bonnie and Clyde, Mafia movies, Westerns, Gangs of New York.... The media glamorizes, sanitizes, and makes thugs into heroes. But make no mistake, thug culture has always existed.

by Anonymousreply 22903/31/2014

R229 - good insight. I would really underscore the mafia.

by Anonymousreply 23103/31/2014

Isn't it nearly impossible to know.

You don't know the number of gay men to start with.

by Anonymousreply 23203/31/2014

Lies r199. The St. Louis man did not have HIV.

by Anonymousreply 23303/31/2014

Laguna Beach's AIDS memorial garden — once well-tended on a bluff decades ago when the beach city's gay community was first touched by the disease — is in neglect.

Ice plant has grown over much of the Garden of Peace and Love off Mountain Road, and the white roses and bougainvillea that once grew in the area have disappeared.

Now administrators and members of the city's HIV Advisory Committee are asking what can be done to breathe new life into the memorial garden and who should take on the work.

by Anonymousreply 23711/17/2014

The correct answer to OPs question is " too large of a percentage " .... Still infuriating how slow the reaction was ....look at the current Ebola response ... To think of hundreds of thousands dead by early 90s is heartbreaking still.

by Anonymousreply 23811/17/2014
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