AIDS: You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

“‘The AIDS crisis’ has become a slogan, like ‘AIDS: The Quicker Picker-Upper’ or ‘AIDS: The Uncola.’ Like other overworked slogans, ‘the AIDS crisis’ no longer means anything. Some of us hold onto it because we’re afraid to let go of the moral authority that living in crisis lent us, others because they’re trying to sell us something…. Continuing to promote a crisis mentality harms those who fall for it and destroys the credibility of AIDS organizations in the eyes of those who don’t. And this, in the long run, is worse for HIV/ AIDS prevention and service efforts than admitting the obvious: The crisis is over, and the epidemic continues. It’s time we incorporated that into our worldviews and got on with our lives.”

--Sex-advice columnist
Dan Savage, Chicago Reader,
October 17, 1997

With Friends Like These

“[ACT UP/Golden Gate member Stephen] LeBlanc made his most potent point, drawing audience applause, when he said he has ‘fewer avenues of access to the [San Francisco] AIDS Foundation than to Glaxo Wellcome or Merck.’”

--“Town Meeting Blasts AIDS Foundation,”
Bay Area Reporter,
October 30, 1997

Dumb Justice

Circuit Judge Richard Margolius:
“How did you get that dragon tattoo?”
Defendant Joseph Brendecke:
“Tattoos by Lou.”
Margolius: “Nobody regulates these people. You might as well just go and have anal sex with a bunch of gay people or something. You might as well take a gun and blow your brains out.”

--“Tough Talk,”
Miami Herald,
November 3, 1997

God It Goin’ On

“I don’t know that much about [AIDS], and I don’t want to. Tell these people to be responsible in their actions and get right with God, and this virus will dissipate.”