When Nurse Jill (Raquel Gardner, right) told Dr. Joe (David Gail) that she had just tested HIV positive and he might have been exposed during their hot-and-heavy affair, the good doctor blew his typical cool, ditched his date and fled the Nurses Ball -- an annual gala of glitzy AIDS awareness -- in a tizzy. It's just another day of their lives on Port Charles, ABC's sudsy half-hour spinoff of long-running serial General Hospital (which won three Emmys in '95 for its teens-get-AIDS-too storyline). Head writer Barbara Bloom promises more histrionics as the plot peaks during fall sweeps: Courtney, Joe's money-grubbing ex, will tip off the local paper that a hospital staffer is positive, and all of the docs and interns will step forward to keep the limelight off of our gal Jill. Confused yet? Just wait. Joe's got one negative test result under his belt, another up in the air and a new honey whose family freaks at the remote possibility that he's infected. "It's a love story with real obstacles," Bloom says.
November 1, 2000 • By Shana Naomi Krochmal