1. jim bryant says

    HIV has existed for millions of years.

    The problem is that the 1960′s and 1970′s made a virtue out of promiscuity, not just for homosexual sex but also for heterosexual sex.

    When you make a virtue out of promiscuity, you open your body to bacteria and viruses that are lurking out there all the time. You allow pre-existing bacteria and viruses to enter your domain.

    The problem for men who interact sexually with men is that you are combining two strong libidos in a concentrated environment. Consider Fire Island, the haven of men who love sex with men. What a perfect setting for the explosion of STD’s!! You have horny men interacting with other horny men at the drop of a hat. No morals, just pure unadulterated promiscuity…what a scene!!!

    A scene that concentrates horny and promiscuous men within a few square miles is the perfect test tube for an explosion of STD’s. Combine this with the use of drugs that destroy the immune system – such as amyl, cocaine, heroin, special K, ecstasy, crystal meth – and you have the perfect destructive paradigm. No wonder AIDS took hold!!!

    Fire Island has a lot to answer for. It killed gay men.

  2. CC says

    This radio documentary was wonderful, and I really enjoyed hearing from people who were there.

    As for your comment, Jim, you need to read up on HIV/AIDS. It has not been around for millions of years, and is actually a mutated form of SIV (simian immunovirus), often found in primates. Its thought to have evolved in the 20th century due to mass vaccinations in rural African populations where needles were reused often.

    Regardless, there is nothing wrong with casual sex, and during that time the idea that you could die from an STD had not entered into public consciousness.

    If you listened to this program and came away with superiority complex due to your own personal chastity, you missed the point completely.

  3. anon says

    Actually, the spread of disease is entirely facilitated by civilization as a whole and not just sex. Pandemics and plagues don’t get much of a foothold or ability to spread in sparsely populated regions, but once humans began living in close proximity the death rates for mass epidemics skyrocketed. Civilizations also stress the environment to the point that food and diet quality diminish and this results in weakened immune systems, high child mortality and shorter stature. Diet is a bigger effect than drugs, most of while are extremely resent in context.

  4. jamal49 says

    @JIM BRYANT: Thank you for coming on over to Towleroad with your thinly-disguised, homophobic, neo-evangelical, revisionist, trollistic take the AIDS epidemic. I doubt if a Bryan Fischer, a Peter LaBarbera, a Pat Robertson or any number of other anti-gay wing-nuts could have composed a more clueless, misinformed screed than what you have written.

    Obviously, you did not listen to the broadcast, so for lack of space, I won’t go into the history of Fire Island, but just to bring you up-to-date on an important fact about FI, it is a place. Therefore, as a place, it has nothing to answer for. Fire Island did not “kill gay men”.

    Oh, and for the record, AIDS is caused by a virus (HIV) which is an organic entity that cares not about how it is transmitted or by who. Therefore, your foolish implication that those who contracted the virus are somehow responsible for their own deaths is ridiculous.

    Although you obviously have pretensions to writing gay male pornography based on your descriptions of “horny men” and “strong libidos” running rampant, I hate to inform you that your take on the 1960s and 1970s gay life is from the point-of-view of someone who was not there. Man-on-man sex (sorry to excite your own libido), has been going on for centuries at interactive rates that you couldn’t even imagine.

    “Promiscuous sex” was not made into a “virtue” in those days. If anything, it was a political statement. Hindsight will always have the ability to judge and condemn the actions of the participants from the vantage point of today’s realities.

    Your prurient and misinformed take on the advent of the AIDS epidemic disregards the studied history of HIV. Your commentary is prurient at best. At worst, it is the same nonsense one can read on any evangelical website that purports to “tell the truth about homosexuality”.

    And, for the record, many more of us survived than succumbed to the epidemic. We still mourn the loss of our friends. I object strongly to your “blame the victim” absurdities.

  5. pete n sfo says

    It’s kind of comforting to hear people talking about it. In some respects, I still feel as though a lot of that time is just suppressed.

    I remember people disappearing. I remember even my own ignorance at the beginning. I remember AZT & the controversy in the community, & Reagan, & the marches in DC.

    It was a death sentence… and then in the mid-90’s the cocktail again changed everything. Young people need to understand more but they have the blissful ignorance of youth.

    The guys on the tape are correct though, through everything, gay people learned even more how to embrace joy & each other. Quite simply, we’re f’n fantastic! :)

  6. mark says

    You can’t compare present day values with values of the 70s. The generation born after WWII was the first born after the bomb.

    For decades no one knew for sure if they’d be alive when tomorrow came. That created a value system people demean today, but it was just the people dealt with life, dealt with the day to day as it was.

    That value system made sense if you grew up in it, if you didn’t well then go judge someone else…maybe someone texting their friend next to them on a train rather than talking to them, that kind of thing, lol:

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