9+ quotes from And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts

Quotes from And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic

Randy Shilts ·  656 pages

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“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.”
― Randy Shilts, quote from And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic


“What society judged was not the severity of the disease but the social acceptability of the individuals affected with it…”
― Randy Shilts, quote from And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic


“We will not have any of these cases in the Soviet Union,” said a Soviet delegate confidently. Don Francis couldn’t resist saying to Marc Conant in his loudest stage whisper, “And they won’t, all right.” In a stern Russian accent, Francis continued: “You have AIDS—bang, bang, bang.” The Soviets were not amused.”
― Randy Shilts, quote from And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic


“Most importantly, the epidemic was only news when it was not killing homosexuals. In this sense, AIDS remained a fundamentally gay disease, newsworthy only by the virtue of the fact that it sometimes hit people who weren't gay,”
― Randy Shilts, quote from And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic


“Legionnaire’s disease hit a group of predominantly white, heterosexual, middle-aged members of the American Legion. The respectability of the victims brought them a degree of attention and funding for research and treatment far greater than that made available so far to the victims of Kaposi’s sarcoma.
I want to emphasize the contrast, because the more popular Legionnaire’s disease affected fewer people and proved less likely to be fatal. What society judged was not the severity of the disease but the social acceptability of the individuals affected with it…. I intend to fight any effort by anyone at any level to make public health policy regarding Kaposi’s sarcoma or any other disease on the basis of his or her personal prejudices regarding other people’s sexual preferences or life-styles”
― Randy Shilts, quote from And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic


“It was a truism to people active in the gay movement that the greatest impediments to homosexuals’ progress often were not heterosexual bigots but closeted homosexuals.”
― Randy Shilts, quote from And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic


“The closeted homosexual is far less likely to demand fair or just treatment for his kind, because to do so would call attention to himself.”
― Randy Shilts, quote from And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic


“and that it would come here too. Paul”
― Randy Shilts, quote from And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic


“The primary cause of death was listed as cryptococcal pneumonia, which was a consequence of his Kaposi’s sarcoma and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. Those, however, were only the obvious diseases. The KS lesions, it turned out, covered not only his skin but also his lungs, bronchi, spleen, bladder, lymph nodes, mouth, and adrenal glands. His eyes were infected not only with cytomegalovirus but also with Cryptococcus and the Pneumocystis protozoa. It was the first time the pathologist could recall seeing the protozoa infect a person’s eye. Ken’s mother claimed his body from the hospital the day after he died. By the afternoon, Ken’s remains were cremated and tucked into a small urn. His Kaposi’s sarcoma had led to the discovery in San Francisco of the epidemic that would later be called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. He had been the first KS case in the country reported to a disbelieving Centers for Disease Control just eight months before. Now, he was one of eighteen such stricken people in San Francisco and the fourth man in the city to die in the epidemic, the seventy-fourth to die in the United States. There would be many, many more.”
― Randy Shilts, quote from And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic


About the author

Randy Shilts
Born place: in Davenport, Iowa, The United States
Born date August 8, 1951
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