thanks jackblair for posting that diatribe against sexual liberation; a socio-political dynamic which was not limited to the gay community, i might add [emphasis mine]. the fact of the matter is that no one can reduce epidemiological disease transmission to merely political or social factors. this PANdemic is a global one, not limited to 3 American cities. HIV's "success" in terms of virus propagation is through the very bases of human nature - our reproductive system; not just the sexual reproductive system, but the genetic reproductive system. so lets leave all this political conjecture of blame in the past, where it belongs.
the purpose of the reddit thread is, in part, to document and acknowledge the cycle of fear, confusion, panic, and stigma around the early days of HIV/AIDS when little was known. people were ostracised, they were left out to die, they were not cared for, they were sacrificed and blamed by the very people who had participated with them, and/or those who were in charge of their care. if we've learned anything, its that a cycle of fear is self-affirming and repetitive, and is responsible for the stigma that still pervades our communities around HIV. and this will take several more generations for it to dissipate.
reviving blame and sexual repression is not the answer to the problem. in fact, it is this kind of witch-hunt which escalates the problem by creating misinformation rather than education, identifies false scape goats rather than encouraging collective responsibility, and reinforces sex-negative attitudes which drives risky practices underground instead of encouraging sex-positive attitudes which take proactive approaches to address the realities of human sexuality and reduce risk. [emphasis mine]
like it or not, the present day 30year pandemic is something which affects everyone. blame is not the answer. solidarity is. much work has been done and remains to be done with HIV. this involves social work, political work, economic reform, medical care, and more over it requires community response. HIV is one of the most researched diseases on the planet, and we have come a long way in terms of knowing it, teaching people about it, treating it, and changing what used to be certain death into a manageable chronic disease. yes, while it is no longer a death sentence (in places where treatment is accessible), it still remains a life sentence (and one with necessary commitments to medical care, drugs, health maintenance and laboratory monitoring).
thanks to mzkyte for posting the reddit thread. it is a sample of the horrors that pervaded in the early days of the AIDS crisis, and we should all feel lucky to be here. next time you meet an HIV+ person or an AIDS service organisation, an HIV care practitioner, a community volunteer, or a business which is actively speaking about HIV and promoting healthy sexuality, you should pay your respect.