Chapter

The Movement That Was Not?

Brian Riedel

in AIDS, Culture, and Gay Men

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034317
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039312 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813034317.003.0013
The Movement That Was Not?

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In Greece, AIDS during the 1980s was seen as something both foreign and not significantly related to same-sex sexuality. Indeed, in the early years people were learning about AIDS even before the first cases in the country were confirmed — what this chapter calls an “epidemic of information.” As the actual epidemic of HIV infection and AIDS grew, there was a general reluctance to see it as a problem affecting the Greek gay community. This chapter examines the history of AIDS in Greece as it relates to gay men, the nation's changing politics, and AIDS activism and gay rights activism. Through archival work and interviews with current activists in Athens, it argues that the adaptation of activist strategies and arguments regarding AIDS was shaped by a range of partially articulated cultural assumptions about same-sex sexuality. It suggests that those cultural assumptions, rather than fostering institutional connections between gay rights activism and AIDS activism, encouraged a structural divide between various activist endeavors.

Keywords: Greece; AIDS; HIV infection; activism; gay rights; gay men; same-sex sexuality; politics; cultural assumptions

Chapter.  8244 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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