By Virginia Berridge, Philip Strong
The appearance of AIDS has ended in a revival of curiosity within the old courting of affliction to society. There now exists a brand new recognition of AIDS and heritage, and of AIDS itself as an old occasion. this offers the starting-point of this number of essays. Its dual issues are the 'pre-history' of the influence of AIDS, and its next background. Essays within the part at the 'pre-history' of AIDS examine the contexts opposed to which AIDS may be measured. The part on AIDS as historical past offers chapters through historians and coverage scientists on such issues as British and US medicinal drugs coverage, the later years of AIDS regulations within the united kingdom and the emergence of AIDS as a political factor in France. a last bankruptcy seems on the archival power within the AIDS quarter. As an entire the amount demonstrates the contribution that historians could make within the research of near-contemporary occasions.
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Extra resources for AIDS and Contemporary History
Explanations of the AIDS panic must be found in all the other factors we have discussed. Nevertheless, with all these qualifications, there is still some merit in using the term 'moral panic' as a way of describing the first major public stage of the response to AIDS, between roughly 1983 and 1986, not least because a perception of how the public was reacting determined the responses both of the community most affected, and of the government. The complexity of social responses My argument is that initial reactions to AIDS were structured by a complex history, which in turn produced a complex set of responses.
During the 1980s there can be no doubt that government was constrained by its moral agenda. That did not stop the development of coherent policies by the policy and medical establishment, nor their implementation at national and local level when the crisis seemed acute. But the 32 Jeffrey Weeks national policy was implemented in a climate of anxiety which the government's own moral agenda did little to alleviate, and that inevitably had a major impact on how the policy developed. Meanwhile the health crisis ground on.
The response to the perceived threat from the tabloid press was particularly important here between 1983 and 1986, in shaping the image of the 'gay plague'. 34 These were not universal experiences; there was altruism, self-sacrifice and empathy as well. But all these things happened, to people vulnerable to a devastating and life-threatening disease; and the vast majority of these people were homosexual. It is difficult to avoid seeing such manifestations as anything but panic-driven. The real plague as the Guardian famously put it, was panic.
AIDS and Contemporary History by Virginia Berridge, Philip Strong