diagnosed were young and seemingly healthy, and did not fit the usual description of those withthe disease. Men were also being diagnosed with Pneumocystis Pneumonia Carinii, a pneumonia that occurs in those with immune system deficiencies. The thread linking the variousmen infected with the cancer and the pneumonia was their homosexuality. Between 1980 and1982, more and more cases were reported. The cases were starting to affect not only gay men, but a few heterosexual men and women, over half of whom used IV drugs (
HIV/AIDS in America”). What was occurring to all of these men and women? Why was this
virus spreading so quickly? The answers to both of these questions were as yet unknown.The blossoming of gay pride in the 1970s and 1980s led to a subculture of widespread promiscuity and easily accessible anonymous sex. The Gay Rights Movement is widelyrecognized as having begun with the 1969 Stonewall Riots, which occurred at the Stonewall Inn,a popular Greenwich Village gay bar. New York police regularly raided bars, clubs and other locations that catered to gay people. On June 27, 1969, the police raid of the Stonewall Inn wasmet with opposition; riots broke out, with thousands of people gathered on the streets, chanting
(“The Stonewall Riots”).
The riots continued over the next week. This was one of the first examples of gay pride, and it was the start of a movement towards openness andacceptance. As gay pride increased, more and more people came out of the closet,experimenting and experiencing their sexuality.
In 2005, Joseph Levitt‟s
Gay Sex in the 70s
. The film features men recounting stories of anonymous sex onthe pier, in bathhouses, outside bars, etc. Th
e explosion of “free sex”
and the lack of knowledgeabout HIV/AIDS is what led to the meteoric spread of the disease. One man in
Gay Sex in the70s
recounts his experience attending a birthday party for a friend, and quickly realizing it was agay orgy. Luckily for him, his lover demanded that t
hey leave. “You flash forward just a few