And The Band Played On
People would always think that there is a notable connection between homosexuality and AIDS. There is a strong discrimination against people with this kind of sexual orientation and people infected with HIV/AIDS. Unsurprisingly, some terms have been tagged along with this kind of disease like “gay plague”, “gay cancer” or “Gay Related Immune Deficiency” which actually cause gay population to be singled out ever since after the outbreak of such epidemic (Cantwel, 1992, p. 5). The stigma of gay men since then never took back and it gets awful as days passed by.
The press people sensationalized and developed an anti-gay campaign which augmented homophobia.
Isolated and ignorant lifestyle leads Americans to ignore such unnatural undertakings and when AIDS virus strikes the U.S., politicians, people, doctors, and bureaucrats were totally caught off guard in identifying the deadly disease. Most of the infected people were gay men and their immune systems were failing faster than usual. The death rate amongst gay men with AIDS virus grows faster and medical teams from different states’ were running out of time in isolating the virus.
The attention of people caught by the unusual disease affecting homosexual populace draws different reactions from different society group (Andriote, 1999, p. 301). Support and activist groups displayed their support and help by means of marching and speaking out to the public. Religious and moral ethics of homosexual groups were questioned by many judgmental communities but it does not clear the issue. The newly discovered outbreak caused death among many gay men but the government remains silent for quite some time thus causing many gay men fighting with the disease without any support.
Instead of focusing on the needs of HIV/AIDS virus victims, politicians never touched the issue but rather lied to the public about the real score of the disease. Many issues arise and homosexual individuals who are infected were steer clear of by the public.
The issue of discrimination and avoidance among homosexuals points out that it is really hard to circumvent from discrimination when the primary basis would be the sexual orientation and preference. Normally, sexual preference and orientation of homosexuals is always mistakenly equated with HIV/AIDS.
Life-long effects such as low self-esteem, stress and social isolation are among of the challenges that gay men faced today’s world (Thio, 1992, p.476). Vulnerability usually occurs in young gay men and some end up on the streets which increase the risk of infecting many others. Negative impact on physical and psychological health of HIV/AIDS infected individual often creates refusal for a medical attention.
Instead of seeking medical attention, some homosexual intentionally proliferate by the same gender through activities which involved sex. Although many studies have shown that this virus was transmitted only through sexual contact and blood transfusion from a positive HIV/AIDS infected person, many still thought that anyone can have it if somebody had a contact with an AIDS patients for a long period of time.
Medical attention and social acceptance will help people with HIV/AIDS to go on with their lives. The government, religious groups, medical teams and the community itself needs to understand that infected persons with HIV/AIDS are still humans which need appropriate attention.
Homosexual has lost some of their rights and never gained back their social status and this situation was accentuated with the AIDS epidemic. The world calls for a better understanding for this epidemic and strong advocacy to educate young people.
Let us keep the bridge of hope among these people. It is their only way to survive and live normally in this world. They may be physically unwell but they can still prove their worth. Like us, they also have rights to live, to be free from any form of prejudice and they need to be understood and accepted at once.
Andriote, John-Manuel (1999). Victory deferred: AIDS changed gay life in America. USA: University of Chicago Press.
Cantwel, Alan (1992). AIDS and the doctors of death. USA: Aries Rising Press.
Thio, Alex (1992). Sociology: An introduction. USA: Harper Collins.
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