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When AIDS was ravaging our community, did you feel cursed in the metaphysical sense?

I'm 45 and I remember the numerous, mysterious deaths of acquaintances. A good friend died in agony and the country was in hysterics. My friend suffered so much and he even became demented near the end. I was glad when he finally passed.

I've never been religious or superstitious, never believed in an active, caring God. But I recall thinking a curse was at work, a cosmic evil -even though I don't believe in Satan either.

Did any of you feel this way? And if you had faith in God, did you lose it?

by Anonymousreply 5611/10/2013


by Anonymousreply 111/09/2013

Wrong place, wrong time, shit happens. Never felt a metaphysical type curse, just one of those things. At least it wasn't bubonic plague.

by Anonymousreply 211/09/2013

No, I never felt as if we were "cursed." It was simple science – the way many gay men conducted their sex lives was simply unsustainable from a biological perspective. I'd say we're close to another tipping point now, and I fully anticipate another plague sooner rather than later.

by Anonymousreply 311/09/2013

It just seemed especially awful. Gay men faced stigma, discrimination and violence and then that on top of it.

Not really metaphysical, just mind-blowingly unfair and awful.

by Anonymousreply 411/09/2013


In 1985 I dropped from 205 to 160 pounds through a lot of minimum wage work.

Those who called me "faggot" started a whisper campaign that I had AIDS.

It was then that I exchanged one shit hole town for another.

by Anonymousreply 511/09/2013

No, I had spent the previous ten years telling people that eventually, they would catch something that would not be cure by a shot of penicillin. I didn't exactly do my happy dance, but there was a lot of "I told you so."

by Anonymousreply 711/09/2013

I wondered, at first. But, hey, plagues have thinned the human herd for millenia. It was our version of the Black Death or the influenza pandemic. This was a biological recalibration, as others have stated.

by Anonymousreply 811/09/2013

I know what you mean OP. I'm 49. Early on it did seem like a curse. I'm still not convinced it wasn't an engineered microbe.

The one good thing is it's pretty hard to get.

by Anonymousreply 1011/09/2013

OP, were you brought up as strict Roman Catholic?

by Anonymousreply 1111/09/2013

No, Baptist.

by Anonymousreply 1211/09/2013

It wasn't a curse. It was deliberate murder by psychopathic doctors who run the world's biological weapons labs. What crazy stupid people you all are to think that God (or evolution) would punish gay people with a disease.

by Anonymousreply 1311/09/2013


And I'd like to slit r6 's fat fucking throat.

by Anonymousreply 1411/09/2013

OP there was a curse at that time. Its name was Ronald Reagan. It was also a curse on the poor that is still going strong to this day.

by Anonymousreply 1511/09/2013

I know one thing. If you DO ever posit that it was a "punishment" for all the errant fucking that so many gay men were doing or a "disease of low morals" (which IS ludicrous because AIDS does not discriminate in that regard), you get your ass handed to you on a platter. Which is as it should be.

The thing that always made me question whether it WAS biological engineering, though, was why MOSTLY gay MEN got AIDS. At least at first. Why did it spread, mainly, like wildfire through the male, gay populace? I mean, gay acceptance was on the rise. Disco and Studio 54 and the Village People. The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Movies like Making Love. Yeah, there was still discrimination and Hollywood was ALSO making Cruising, an awful negative stereotype reinforcement. But there was much movement towards a greater acceptance of gay people going on. It just felt like there might be a sea change. And then, BAM. AIDS hit and it all went to shit. It has taken thirty years to climb back to the place where I think we were headed back in the late 70's and early 80's.

by Anonymousreply 1611/09/2013

Have never returned to the same level of happiness I had before the epidemic.

by Anonymousreply 1811/09/2013

r16, you do realize that guys were unknowingly becoming infected in the early to mid-70s, before the explosion of gay culture and increased acceptance by mainstream het culture.

by Anonymousreply 1911/09/2013

r16 it also struck IV-drug users. And Haitians. Early on Haitians were singled out as a 'target' group. It seems so bizarre today.

by Anonymousreply 2011/09/2013

R7 was a lot of fun at parties in the 1970s, I can tell.

by Anonymousreply 2111/09/2013

[quote]did you feel cursed in the metaphysical sense?

Interesting you use the word metaphysical because it does strike me that before AIDS, most people's reaction to gay sex was as though it did produce something as horrible as AIDS and then it totally happened.

by Anonymousreply 2211/09/2013

R17, so you are back to the patient zero theory, then? A gay man originally contracted it...HOW? That flight attendant dude, Gaeten Dugas or whomever? How did HE contract it? And he, then, fucked another in the ass and then it was spread from ass to ass to ass?

I guess this is because it IS a NUMBERS GAME and in an isolated population of people who are engaging in high risk behavior became a gay disease.

by Anonymousreply 2311/09/2013

"No, Baptist."

No, but you are.

by Anonymousreply 2411/09/2013

"Having so many std's and drugs over a period of years had broken down the immune systems of gay men in the big cities, and a dormant disease was able to come back from dormancy"

Oh god. Peter Duesberg and the New York Native and SPIN really got to you, huh? Join us in the 21st century where we can look at actual epidemiology and not create false parallel narratives because the real story is too sciencey.

by Anonymousreply 2511/09/2013

Swine Flu! Dolphin Germs!

by Anonymousreply 2611/09/2013

I remember a priest whose class I took in graduate school in the early 80s telling me that the "AIDS crisis" would be to gays what the Holocaust was to Jews. He said that once a "cure" for AIDS was found, gays would come back stronger and would never allow themselves to be bullied again.

While there is no cure for AIDS, those of us who survived the plague years have made "Never Again" our credo. We have worked our way into the board room, locker room and city hall, onto Wall Street and into the House and Senate (and soon to the governor's mansion)

All causes need martyrs. Those who died of AIDS are our martyrs.

by Anonymousreply 2711/09/2013

What city did you go to school in, R27?

by Anonymousreply 2811/09/2013

Washington, DC

by Anonymousreply 2911/09/2013

I lived there then, too. I wonder if we have some of the same dead people.

by Anonymousreply 3011/09/2013

R21, No, I was never "fun" at parties, but I am alive and most of the people I knew who were "fun" are dead. And, they died horrible deaths because there was no treatment for AIDS at the time. I have no regrets about being an 18 year old prude.

by Anonymousreply 3111/09/2013

Wow. R31 for Unnecessarily Vicious Cunt of the Week. I think I actually hate you, R31.

by Anonymousreply 3211/09/2013

:::While there is no cure for AIDS, those of us who survived the plague years have made "Never Again" our credo.::::

Yeah, no we didn't. "We" have always been in the boardroom, the locker room and city hall, on Wall Street, congress and governors mansions. Not to mention the always forgotten stockrooms, factories, garages, taxis, garbage trucks and janitorial departments.

by Anonymousreply 3311/09/2013

Actually OP, I do think something like AIDS is a product of greater evil consciousness that is a part of this universe. So created by 'God'? Hell no. Created by Al Satan? Absolutely.

by Anonymousreply 3411/09/2013

I can see it now R7:

"Hey wanna fool around?"

"HELL NO! You're all GONNA DIE!"

by Anonymousreply 3511/09/2013

I believe it was created by the Dark Lady of Cher's hit song fame.

by Anonymousreply 3611/09/2013

Sorry, R32, I attended far to many funerals, emptied far too many bed pans, cleaned out far too many apartments, and fought with far too many homophobic surviving family members to be sentimental about the early days of AIDS.

by Anonymousreply 3711/09/2013

R35, actually, not far from the mark.

by Anonymousreply 3811/09/2013

r38 is correct in that r35's joke was sadly close to reality.

Before there was a test, before there were any treatments, many of us were scared to death of any sexual contact. You just watched people get sick, get spot/tumors, become skeletal, go insane, and die.

by Anonymousreply 3911/09/2013

I'm wondering when we'll start seeing trans men seroconverting. There's a small subculture of trans men who are attracted to the most cliched aspects of gay culture, and write on sites like Tumblr about how to get into back rooms!

by Anonymousreply 4011/09/2013

"costs" should be "posts".

by Anonymousreply 4311/09/2013

I'm 47 and I came out my freshman year of college, in 1984-85. By that time everyone knew about the dangers and was taking precautions in my demographic. I had very few friends contract the HIV virus, and even fewer who died.

So, I can't say I felt that way, OP.

by Anonymousreply 4511/09/2013

Funny that, because I'm the same age as OP and never ever had someone around me that died of AIDS. The closest I ever came to that was a guy I had met at a party, who had a bad case of pink eye, and what do you know, one month later, I was told that he had died the day before.

But yeah, in the sense that each time I had sex with a guy back then in the late 80s, early 90s, I was absolutely sure I was infected, because being gay was wrong so there had to be some kind of divine justice, that would make sure I was now HIV+.

I did not get rid of that sense of doom and gloom until my late 30s.

by Anonymousreply 4611/09/2013

Won't someone please SHIT IN MY MOUTH???!!!!?????

by Anonymousreply 4711/09/2013

r49 can you provide links to the 1979 infant story? obviously the mother must have been HIV+ too?

by Anonymousreply 5111/10/2013

I'm guessing there were a number of cases that pre-dated 1980, but were written off as pneumonia or cancer because there was no pattern at that point. When people started getting sick in clusters, then the red flags were raised.

by Anonymousreply 5211/10/2013

I had a friend who became inexplicably ill in Los Angeles in 1978. His doctor couldn't tell him what was wrong with him, so he went to more doctors, and more after that. He stopped having sex with me because he was afraid of contagion. But he fucked me numerous times.

In the late '70s and early '80s, I bottomed at least five guys who died a few years later. I never became HIV-positive. I have no idea how or why this is, but it is.

by Anonymousreply 5311/10/2013

Can we get this fucking freeper cunt off this thread, please?

by Anonymousreply 5411/10/2013

The guys who died in that first wave in 1981/82 must've been poz since at least 73/74/75. Many of them must've started developing the classic signs of long-term untreated HIV infection (low-grade fevers, swollen glands, night sweats, etc.) by the late 70s. I wonder why this didn't send up any red flags?

by Anonymousreply 5511/10/2013

I was a young man in my twenties, going through the first tentative stages if coming out. Then I read the notorious Rolling Stone article. I learned that this disease was targeting particular groups--Gay men, IV drug users, Haitians, including the straight children of Haitian immigrants. It was random and apparently magic.

They neglected to mention that the children of Haitian immigrants were IV drug users. This would have taken away the magic Andrade the article much less interesting.

I burrowed back into the closet for a few more years. I'm not bitter about that, though I would certainly like to have the chance to slap the me of those days. But I think Rolling Stone bears a lot of responsibility for delivering the idea of AIDS being some kind of divine retribution to people who were not just simpletons.

by Anonymousreply 5611/10/2013
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