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Bad Manners and Good Gossip

« Scientists Gone Wild! | Main | Moore Silence? »

June 22, 2006

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Dan

Hank,
Bialy makes a good point that even though it appeared that there was a sexually-transmitted pathogen, the wrong steps were taken in running with that assumption (which it was) and creating public health policy out of tunnel vision.

I still think one of the more bizarre overlooked aspects of this debacle is simply when GRID morphed into AIDS. The press conference was significant, no doubt. But I also think it was an important turning point when GRID became AIDS. GRID was confined to gay men, but when "AIDS" "appeared", it opened up the floodgates!

Dean Esmay

The words "the perfect storm" come to mind.

A gay establishment, a liberal establishment, and a conservative establishment all pulling hard at once looking for a virus. A panic to find an answer.

And now, no matter how badly Gallo gets discredited, an establishment has formed around his initial shakey hypothesis, and they fear to re-examine the founding assumption for fear of what it will bring.

Not one dime for research on any other hypothesis. Tens of billions of dollars, 20+ years...

HankBarnes

Hey Dan,

One of the epic tragedies of the time, was the stigma and scapegoating of gay men.

One of my enduring regrets was not speaking up forceful enough on behalf of gays. True, I was only in High School in 1981. And macho male personas ruled the era, including myself. But I wish I woulda been stronger and more broad-minded. Intolerance to gays was, sadly, a general meme at the time --even in blue state, blue city where I went to school.

The sex=gay=death=virus convergence just overwhelmed most people, scientists and politicians included.

And, then, AIDS inc. got smart and started buying off the gay activist groups to join the cause.

Won't let that happen again, my friend. But it may take a decade or so to undo this mess.

I'm patient, though.

HB

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