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AIDS Outburst and Homosexuals in and The Band Played on

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“And The Band Played On” is a movie released in 1993 by Roger Spottiswoode which focuses around an epidemic that was discovered in the early 1980’s. In this movie, an epidemiologist Don Francis notices an increased rate of death in homosexual men in an urban area in the USA. This disease affecting homosexual men eventually spreads to more people of all genders and age, and it is identified as AIDS. In this movie, all aspects of the AIDS outburst are covered including research, politics and society. It is shown how much the research department had to work to find the cause of the disease, how it is spreading and identify the virus. The political side showed that for a long time this disease was being ignored since it was only affecting homosexual men, which at that time were not considered important members of the society. Also, this movie shows the societal side of the disease; homosexual men were upset about the bathhouses closing since research had shown that it was one of the main locations where the disease was being sexually transmitted to others.

One of the policies which the members of the CDC was trying to implement was closing the bathhouses which was the most common place where homosexual men were spreading the disease to others; bathhouses were discovered to be the place where most people suffering from AIDS had received the disease. Many of the homosexual men were upset about this idea because it was one of the only places where they could go to openly express their sexuality without being judged, therefore they had an emotional and aggressive reaction towards this policy. In the scene where the epidemiologist is speaking to the public about some of the findings, the public is not agreeing with the policy because they do not have all the knowledge about the disease spreading. The lack of education about AIDS negatively affected the policy development. Since the homosexual men were the public who was being directly affected by the policy, the CDC should have provided more information about the disease, what they think it is, all the possible ways it is spreading and what they can do to avoid it. This way, the public would have been able to take an educated decision.

Bathhouses were eventually closed in 1985 when AIDS began to spread to people of all genders and ages, including infants. Since this disease was finally recognized by the government, media and public when it did not only affect gay men, heterosexual people and children. This shows that public awareness and interest, and media interest in what helped this policy’s development.

Later in the movie, CDC decides to create a policy where homosexual men should not be allowed to donate blood due to their chances of having the disease and spreading through blood transfusion. There were many policy implementation barriers from the beginning which affected the policy development. First of all, since AIDS was only seen in homosexual men, there was a lack of interests form the government and public. Also, there was a lack of funding from the government because they did not want to invest in a disease which was only affecting gay men, which were not considered important members of the society. Homosexual people were seen as a minority since at that time there was stigma about them so the government neglected the disease which was affecting them; eventually, it began to spread to others through unsafe drug injection and it spread to women and even infants due to their mothers. This was when the government, media and public began to fund and spread awareness about the disease. As well, during the policy development meeting between CDC and the blood bank, they were not educated enough about the high risk of the disease spreading through blood transfusion and they were more focused about the emotional part of the situation instead of public health safety. Therefore, in this situation, the policy implementation barriers which negatively affected the policy development were lack of political will, lack of funding and lack of education.

In conclusion, this movie revealed the complicated steps that need to be taken before a policy can be created. There are many barriers to policy development, and the most common ones were lack of government will, lack of funding, and lack of education and interest from the public and media. All three of these barriers appeared in both policies that the CDC was trying to develop to minimize the spreading of AIDS. There was a constant lack of funding and interest from the government due to this disease being related to homosexual men. In the first policy development of closing bathhouses due to it being the most common place of where the victims received the disease, the public, in this case the homosexual men, were not fully educated about the disease and the many ways it was spreading. They were mostly focused on not loosing one of their most popular locations to meet partners which contributed to be a barrier to this policy development. Also, the second policy the CDC was discussing with the blood bank, about banning homosexual men from donating blood due to high risks of spreading the disease through blood transfusion, was not well received due to the lack of education in how blood can be a source of the disease spreading. However, when the government, public and media were finally fully educated on the disease, bathhouses were closed in 1985 and blood banks stopped taking blood donations from homosexual men in 1983.

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AIDS Outburst And Homosexuals In And The Band Played On. (2020, October 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 22, 2022, from
“AIDS Outburst And Homosexuals In And The Band Played On.” GradesFixer, 10 Oct. 2020,
AIDS Outburst And Homosexuals In And The Band Played On. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 May 2022].
AIDS Outburst And Homosexuals In And The Band Played On [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Oct 10 [cited 2022 May 22]. Available from:
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