Movie Reaction Paper: And the Band Played On
"This is not a political issue. This is a health issue. This is not a gay issue. This is a human issue. And I do not intend to be defeated by it. I came here today in the hope that my epitaph would not read that I died of red tape."
This striking line said by a character in the movie "And the Band Played On", which I later found out to be the actual words of Roger Gail Lyon in Congress1, depicts how a society so caught up with discrimination and stereotypes, turned a blind eye to an epidemic that escalated too fast and too vast. The medical community started noticing patterns of a strange and deadly disease which significantly grew with the gay community in San Francisco. Not knowing where it originated, the causes and all its effects, except for some common symptoms, and the fact it has a 100% mortality rate, they started on the quest to beat this disease before it kills more. But with limited funding, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) found it difficult to undergo a swift investigation for prevention and early detection. It also took them a while to give a proper name to this disease that even after hundreds already died, it was only named “Gay Cancer” or “Gay Pneumonia” which gave it all the more reason to be shun by the federal government. Unfortunately, this came in the time when the stigma for gays and homosexuality is so rampant, that they were barely even recognized as a significant minority of the society. Add that to the bureaucracy and a government that doesn't seem to care, AIDS was consequently allowed to spread unchecked during the 80's, while the most trusted institutions denied or ignored its threat.
Due to the limited knowledge and resources to determine the origins of AIDS during that time, the gay community’s widespread panic did not stop the promiscuity of a number of them. Even then, the gay community were divided on the nature of the disease but also wants a solution. Today,...
References: 1 - http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6894
2 - http://www.pnac.org.ph/uploads/documents/publications/Philippines%20Country%20Review%202008%20-%20AIDS%20Data%20Hub.pdf
3 - http://www.manilatimes.net/philippine-officials-struggle-to-erase-hivaids-stigma/28886/
4 - http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20100205-251358/Steady-rise-in-HIV-cases-noted-BPOs-as-hi-risk-denied
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