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Philadelphia (1993) - Research Paper Example

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Summary
Gay rights and HIV/AIDS Institution Date The issue of HIV/AIDS in most country is shrouded by complex issues of cultural politics. Different segment of the society construct the reality of the disease differently. The religious right for a long time has held the view that the disease is a punishment from God, for people who are involved in immoral sexual acts especially homosexuals…
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Philadelphia (1993)

Download file to see previous pages... Far right views also view the AIDS pandemic as a God sent weapon to destroy the homosexual population. According Friedman-Kien AE (1981), the views of the religious right on matters of HIV can be termed as “Dissident science”. This term comes from the fact that the theories put forward by the religious right have no scientific backing. It is unfortunate that for a long time the views of the religious right heavily impacted on policy discourses of the disease. This paper explores the responses AIDS activist media reacted to the dissident science on HIV/AIDS as constructed by the religious right. In particular, the paper explores the homosexual dimension of the HIV/AIDS debate as espoused by the Movie Philadelphia (1993). The causation debate Scientifically, it is known that HIV/AIDs is caused by the transfer of body fluids containing the viruses from one person to another’s bloodstream. The primary method of transmission of the disease is sexual intercourse. Male to male intercourse is not a HIV risk by itself. Instead, two other conditions must be met for transmission to occur. These conditions are: one of the partners has to be infected with the virus, and intercourse must result in introduction of the HIV virus into the blood stream of the uninfected partner (Duesberg, 1989). In the United States most transmissions occur between gay men. While globally most transmission occur in between heterosexual sexual partners. Since, the 1980 and 1990 the trend of higher infections in homosexual population has continued in the United States (Duesberg, 1989). It is worth noting that when the disease was first diagnosed in the United States it was recorded among Homosexual populations. This gave rise to strongly held prejudice among religious right activists that HIV/AIDS is a disease for Gay people (Marcus, 2002). The religious activist made it appear like the disease was caused by Gay men and then spread to the rest of the heterosexual population. Initially, HIV/AIDS was referred by names that closely tied with the gay sexual orientation. According to Andriote (1999), early reports of the disease referred to it as the gay plague, gay cancer or the Gay disease. Early researchers referred to it as the Gay-related immune deficiency (GRID). The homosexual community responded to this branding of the disease as homosexual disease by mobilizing demonstration. In 1986, Gay AIDs activists were called to action to deflect an editorial that linked HIV/AIDS with the group. William F. Buckley had published an article in March 1986 asserting “It is both a fact and the popular perception that AIDS is the special curse of the Homosexual” (Andriote, 1999). The article went further to propose the branding of gay men with AIDS at the rear and drug addicts on the arm. The Article led to the formation of the Swift and Terrible Retribution Committee. In concentration camp uniforms the retribution council picketed the headquarters of Buckley’s National Review in Manhattan (Afshar, n.d). The Gay and Lesbian Alliance against defamation started the media activism by organizing demonstration against homophobic and AIDS phobic coverage of HIV issues all over America (Vaid, 1995). Most of the demonstrations targeted the New York Times which was accused of being deliberately biased against ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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