, Research Paper
“And the Band Played On”
“And the Band Played On” was an HBO movie that illustrated the AIDS crisis in the 1980s and early 1990s. The movie touched on subjects concerning the reaction of the gay community, the heterosexual community, and the medical community. It showed not only the research in AIDS, but also the way that the US government dealt with it. The movie expressed the consequences the gay community suffered, the plight of the medical community in researching the disease, and the issue of government response to it.
As a result of the discovery of AIDS, the gay community suffered greatly at the hands of social alienation. “AIDS” was not called “AIDS” until the CDC changed the different name that singled out the gay community as the only ones that could acquire the disease. After some major controversy the gay bathhouses were closed down, because it was believed that the AIDS virus was spreading greatly in these places. The gay community also suffered major emotional trauma as very little was known of the disease and little could be done about it. ___
The medical community had much trouble in the progress of researching the disease. In the beginning and for a period of time, the disease had no name. This was partly because no one really wanted to announce that a new disease had been discovered. After being dubbed “GRID”, an acronym singling out gays, it was changed when it was finally discovered that AIDS could be transmitted though blood transfusions and IV drug use. There was also an amazing display of medical misconduct as the head of one laboratory in the US engaged in a competition-like struggle with a lab in Paris in the research of the disease. When he finally agreed to collaborate with the French, he announced discoveries ahead of time and took all the credit for himself. This led to a long legal action that delayed much of the research of AIDS and caused many people to “die of red tape.”
The government played a major part in the AIDS situation. The government’s blood banks did not wish to check blood with a test developed by the CDC because it was not “cost-efficient.” The government also neglected the CDC of large sums of money needed in the pursuit of a cure or vaccine in the disease and thought more of dollar signs that the lives of people. Ronald Regan did not speak of AIDS in public and obviously did not want to touch on that subject. By the time that he did, AIDS had taken the lives of several thousand people.
In conclusion, the movie “And the Band Played On” was a factual account of AIDS in the 80s and its effects on various groups of people. It covered topics that normal movies may think of as taboo.