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Here is a Comprehensive Supercut of News Clips from the First Decade of the AIDS Crisis: VIDEO


HBO's broadcast of The Normal Heart has caused new reflection on the early days of the AIDS crisis, and the fear, ignorance, lack of understanding, and anger that were the hallmarks of that era.

If you care to revisit it, an intrepid newshound Dave Evans has assembled an hour's worth of clips from 1982-1992 covering everything from the first discovery of the disease to Rock Hudson's death, to the ACT UP demonstrations.

Let's hope nothing like it ever happens again.



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  1. "Lets hope nothing like it happens again."


    Secondly, it will inevitably happen again—and gay men will have gone back to willfull ignorance because they think Truvada makes them invulnerable. Its not like AIDS was the first killer sexually transmitted disease.

    Posted by: sherpa | May 29, 2014 12:01:14 PM

  2. I was living in S.F. at the time when all this happened. I will never forget the headlines in the S.F. Chronicle which said "Rock Hudson has aids" in huge letters. Was a stunning experience. Made it through the crisis there just fine. Will always love that city.

    Posted by: Tom | May 29, 2014 12:05:30 PM

  3. One of the most devastating films on aids was "Silverlake Life", which was a documentary on the decline and emaciation of an aids patient living with his partner in Silverlake. The partner was the cameraman, who steadfastly filmed his lover's demise to the point of death and the coroner taking the body away. All I could remember was the clacking of bones the dead man's body made as the coroner put him in the body bag. And it's amazing

    Posted by: woodroad34 | May 29, 2014 12:22:18 PM

  4. "And it's amazing"...that an ultra conservative gay acquaintance of mine will get upset whenever anyone mentions how Reagan refused to even mention A.I.D.S. I get spit in my face and this individual will scream how Reagan had two gay men on his staff.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | May 29, 2014 12:25:35 PM

  5. The problem with the first decade of press coverage is that it was horribly, horribly misleading in many ways.

    Posted by: anon | May 29, 2014 12:26:32 PM

  6. Being 12 yrs old in 1982, and in the SF area, this epidemic and the media surrounding it shaped my perception on life. This history is at least as important as 9-11 yet many young people have no idea. How do we so easily forget?

    Posted by: SLH | May 29, 2014 12:47:49 PM

  7. I remember...

    Posted by: mymy | May 29, 2014 12:55:08 PM

  8. SHERPA nailed it on both counts.

    Posted by: Douglas | May 29, 2014 1:42:07 PM

  9. I don't think SHERPA nailed it at all. It's not that AIDS isn't still a problem, it's that we no longer have such rabid fear and lack of information and pervasive hatred of gays as we did back in the early '80s. Hospital staffs are not refusing to treat AIDS patients, people are not getting fired from their jobs, shunned by their loved ones, and ostracized from all human touch and contact. Pilots and cabbies and bus drivers are not refusing to allow AIDS sufferers aboard their vehicles. Bodies are not being stuffed in trash bags and thrown in back alleys. People are not running through the streets with their dying loved ones in their arms with no place to go. The President of the United States would not be able to avoid dealing with or so much as mentioning a health crisis simply because most of the victims were gay.

    I trust you get my drift. Plus (and it's a BIG "plus"), HIV/AIDS is no longer an automatic death sentence in this country.

    So yeah, HIV and AIDS are still around, and the spread may ebb and flow as people get complacent. But there were so many Horrors in the early days of the epidemic that were separate and apart from the disease itself and THAT's the difference we are NOT seeing today and hope never to see again.

    Posted by: Zlick | May 29, 2014 2:29:08 PM

  10. Thank you ZLICK. I was looking for the words you choose to type to send a message to sherpa & douglas, that WE won't let this happen again.

    William Dannemeyer, Lyndon LaRouche & Gordon Humphrey, are just people who will not be mourned by the gay community when they die. Just like Ronald Reagan & Ed Koch.

    Posted by: Edd | May 29, 2014 3:11:30 PM

  11. "just" should have been "three"

    Posted by: Edd | May 29, 2014 3:12:15 PM

  12. Fascinating. How ignorant people were and still are. I guess I'm still a spring chicken, only 25, but if you protect yourself and know the risks of anonymous sex you can drastically reduce your risk. I've always made sure to use protection and if the guy wouldn't, I'd not risk it. It paid off for me, one of my flings is now in jail for knowingly infecting people. All that sex ed in school paid off.

    Posted by: Will | May 29, 2014 8:25:14 PM

  13. Well said ZLICK! You brought back MANY memories . . .

    Posted by: Mike | May 31, 2014 12:32:03 AM

  14. Excellent post. The television generation can relate to how AIDS was reported.

    Posted by: GEB | Jun 1, 2014 2:18:40 PM

  15. A really great compilation. Providing the dates/years of the various clips would have been helpful.

    Posted by: sdl | Jun 3, 2014 2:34:21 AM

  16. A really great compilation. Providing the dates/years of the various clips would have been helpful.

    Posted by: sdl | Jun 3, 2014 2:34:22 AM

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