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Lecture #8 - Nov 11.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Robb Travers

SOC309Y1 Lecture #8: November 11, 2011 Todays speaker= Tim Mccaskell- impact on key decisions in this country which affect all of our health. - Imagine self in HIV field, no medication or treatment, public health system doing nothing, you clearly would have done something, taken control - AIDS Action Now! Does this today - He will talk about the incredible work they have done using slides from AIDS Memorial what activists were fighting for AIDS MEMORIAL Established in 87 by Michael Lynch one of his early projects around aids, was temporary memorial then permanent. It works via series of pillars that have plaques with different years of those who died - Intimate space the memorial First Pillar 5 years on it - Not many names - Especially in first year (81) because 1) epidemic centre was not Toronto; instead San Francisco and New York- wave did not reach Toronto until later 2) huge stigma attached to this disease then o This was primarily a disease of gay men GRID- gay related immune disorder meant you had a scary fatal disease attached to stigmatized group o 1981- decade since homosexuality decriminalized in 69 o This was before human rights protection for gay people o Hair above criminal class plus scary disease= powerful emotional effect o What amplified the emotional effect was that no one knew what was going on AIDS was a blank canvass upon which people projected own beliefs Various Beliefs: o Environmentalists thought break down of immune system because environmental issues o Puritan- these gay men involved in sex and rock and roll o Another layer- complete, official indifference because government does not talk about it- no one knows what to say, why associate self with them o People begin to die, get sick = FIRST WAVE OF AIDS ACTIVISM people begin to set up support groups and organizations 83 1 o These are groups that at this early stage want to provide people with support o Mostly about trying to care for people o 1984 HIV virus identified, beginning of consensus of this is what is going on but not totally shared consensus but we do have possibility of safer sex with this identification of HIV as a virus If you stop engages of fluids, idea was that this would stop spread of virus o 85/86 the panic in gay communities began to spread to general public- death of Rock Hudson o 85- there is a test for HIV service organizations advise people not to take the test because there is no treatment! So simply knowing does nothing good, and because it is a reportable disease your name goes into the government, late as 1999, governors want to quarantine and send people off to camps So if part of minority facing stigma, no protection, a lot of people remember being sent to jail- this disease could be used to round up and quarantine Next Slide- two years 1986 and 87 PUBLIC HEALTH RESPONSE because people really getting freaked out o Public health responses area about protecting the public from danger, source of infection and if you step back and realize this source of infection is gay men and public is straight people- the public health response was to protect straight people from homosexuals o Alex first for Development Centre for Aids isolating the reservoir of infection isolating all those with HIV o This time is when people thought more about giving support and how to prevent infection started to think about those infected with it shift in mentality released in 1987 of first drug to combat virus AZT = notion that there might be something medical we can do, people think why is there not more research around this- 6 years into epidemic and nothing much so we need more o 1987 of second wave first aids activist organization o Larry Cramer early 80s about the screaming fights in New York about whether should stay in closet or out in streets rioting = antagonistic contradiction between first wave and second wave aids activism o What made Toronto experience easier- started 6 months behind mess in New York realized two different tasks; need for service organizations needed to play by rules because government funding 2and also those who need to fight for government help= work together as two separate camps Next slide 1987/1988 gay village when this many people start dying from this small group it has a major impact - Michael Lynch started activist aids research gay rights Tim knew how to do activism around gay but not disease tried to make sense of how to make activism- how to do politics out of medicine- Tim began to see what was happening to people when they got into hospitals- there was fear of you in hospitals by nurses, food shoved under door etc. - Realized cumbersome government mechanism for approving drugs- getting them to people seemed impossible so no access to any of this stuff, no resources put to research either - Trying to sort through this stuff was Michael and Tims task - Double blind placebo trial- learned what this was two groups, one group gets placebo the other gets disease- blind do not know compare groups, if one who got drug does better that means drug works --- fatal disease compare how many die in one group compared to other - meeting- people talked about personal life experience, affirmed groups ideas: 1) standards of care in hospitals 2) access to experimental treatments 3) contamity new drug to kill PCP kill parasite, IV drug, very toxic like DRAIN
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