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 Anonymous||reply 56||11/10/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 2||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 3||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 4||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 5||11/09/2013|
Evolution at work, nothing supernatural about it.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 7||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 8||11/09/2013|
R3 is correct. 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. Next time it'll be worse, because std's are becoming penicillin resistant. But we can't talk about it, because people yell "sex negative" at you. It's very sad.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 10||11/09/2013|
OP, were you brought up as strict Roman Catholic?
|by Anonymous||reply 11||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 13||11/09/2013|
And I'd like to slit r6 's fat fucking throat.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 15||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 16||11/09/2013|
[quote]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 wonder if it's because unprotected anal sex is high-risk for HIV transmission...
|by Anonymous||reply 17||11/09/2013|
Have never returned to the same level of happiness I had before the epidemic.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 19||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 20||11/09/2013|
R7 was a lot of fun at parties in the 1970s, I can tell.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||11/09/2013|
[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 Anonymous||reply 22||11/09/2013|
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 regularly...it became a gay disease.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||11/09/2013|
"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 Anonymous||reply 25||11/09/2013|
Swine Flu! Dolphin Germs!
|by Anonymous||reply 26||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 27||11/09/2013|
What city did you go to school in, R27?
|by Anonymous||reply 28||11/09/2013|
I lived there then, too. I wonder if we have some of the same dead people.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 31||11/09/2013|
Wow. R31 for Unnecessarily Vicious Cunt of the Week. I think I actually hate you, R31.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||11/09/2013|
:::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 Anonymous||reply 33||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 34||11/09/2013|
I can see it now R7:
"Hey wanna fool around?"
"HELL NO! You're all GONNA DIE!"
|by Anonymous||reply 35||11/09/2013|
I believe it was created by the Dark Lady of Cher's hit song fame.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 37||11/09/2013|
R35, actually, not far from the mark.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 39||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 40||11/09/2013|
Honey, get a grip. THAT'S what happened. You must be an HIV denier.
The costs here prove you can't discuss this. Because anything that sounds remotely like "judgment" triggers a knne-jerk response in people who haven't worked out their issues.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||11/09/2013|
Nuts like R16 can't handle the truth from folks like R17.
It's not still Reagan, kids. He's in hell with hitler. Gay men refuse to take ANY responsibility for the spread of HIV. And that's pathetic and sickening.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||11/09/2013|
"costs" should be "posts".
|by Anonymous||reply 43||11/09/2013|
So, it's just purely an unlucky coincidence that the most deadly incurable (fatal) communicable illness of the late 20th century was pretty much confined to homosexual men? Wow, what are the odds?
|by Anonymous||reply 44||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 45||11/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 46||11/09/2013|
Won't someone please SHIT IN MY MOUTH???!!!!?????
|by Anonymous||reply 47||11/09/2013|
"I eat the corn out of Carol Channing's shit!"
|by Anonymous||reply 48||11/09/2013|
R47...bite me, cunt.
HIV was rediagnosed...in a female infant...in 1079. The next year, it was diagnosed in a gay man. It's 2013. A subset of gay men are still spreading HIV through unprotected sex. It's STILL Reagan's fault, cunt? STILL a government plot? Moron.
|by Anonymous||reply 49||11/09/2013|
That should read 1979. There were earlier cases, of course, that have since been discovered. But there was a period of dormancy before 79. And the disease did not flourish until it started hitting people with compromised immune systems.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||11/10/2013|
r49 can you provide links to the 1979 infant story? obviously the mother must have been HIV+ too?
|by Anonymous||reply 51||11/10/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 52||11/10/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 53||11/10/2013|
Can we get this fucking freeper cunt off this thread, please?
|by Anonymous||reply 54||11/10/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 55||11/10/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 56||11/10/2013|