Rite of AIDS

Harvey Fierstein writes:

There are too many positive gay role models. In fighting the AIDS crisis over the last 20 years, we have done everything possible to dispel the negative connotations that come with having HIV. So, we produced advertising, created enlightenment programs, spent endless hours making certain that having AIDS or being HIV positive was nothing to be ashamed of.

We did a great job. Maybe too great a job. After all the effort exerted to convince the world that AIDS is not a gay disease, we now have a generation embracing AIDS as its gay birthright.

Many of our young men see infection as a rite of passage, an inevitable coming of age. I hear of them seeking the disease as entree into the cool, queer inner circle that being negative denies them.

In our effort to remove the stigma of having AIDS, have we created a culture of disease?






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