And the band played on book quotes

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The book chronicles the discovery and spread of the human immunodeficiency virus HIV and acquired immune deficiency syndrome AIDS with a special emphasis on government indifference and political infighting—specifically in the United States—to what was then perceived as a specifically gay disease. Shilts' premise is that AIDS was allowed to happen: while the disease is caused by a biological agent, incompetence and apathy toward those initially affected allowed its spread to become much worse. The book is an extensive work of investigative journalism, written in the form of an encompassing time line; the events that shaped the epidemic are presented as sequential matter-of-fact summaries. Shilts describes the impact and the politics involved in battling the disease on particular individuals in the gay, medical, and political communities. He ends with the announcement by actor Rock Hudson in that he was dying of AIDS, when international attention on the disease exploded.
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NBC as well as ABC were some of the networks considered to make a miniseries based on the book in the late s, but the networks turned it down because they could not find a way to structure it as a two-night, four-hour miniseries. In , NBC finally aired the movie with a parental discretion warning due to its sensitive subject. In a prologue set in , American epidemiologist Don Francis arrives in a village on the banks of the Ebola River in Zaire and discovers many of the residents and the doctor working with them have died from a mysterious illness later identified as Ebola hemorrhagic fever. In , Francis becomes aware of a growing number of deaths from unexplained sources among gay men in Los Angeles , New York City and San Francisco , and is prompted to begin an in-depth investigation of the possible causes. Working with no money, limited space, and outdated equipment, he comes in contact with politicians, numerous members of the medical community many of whom resent his involvement because of their personal agendas , and gay activists. Of the latter, some such as Bill Kraus support him, while others express resentment at what they see as unwanted interference in their lifestyles, especially in his attempts to close the local bathhouses.

And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts. “How very American, he thought, to look at a disease as homosexual or heterosexual, as if viruses had the intelligence to choose between different inclinations of human behavior.”. Don Francis couldn.
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Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic, 20th-Anniversary Edition

Don Francis: This may be the first epidemic in history of which no one officially died. Don Francis: How many people have to die before it'll be cost effective for you people to do something about it? A hundred? A thousand? Blood Bank executive: When the doctors start acting like businessmen, who do the people turn to for doctors?

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