Gregg Bordowitz introduced the slogan of ACT-UP: “Silence = Death”, at the beginning. In the early 1980’s, people were feared about this unknown epidemic disease “AIDS” but they believed that it was a “gay’s” disease and called it “gay’s cancer”. Nothing particular to deal with this pandemics was done by government and homosexual people lacked proper medical care at the time. According to Mr. Bordowitz, more (gay) people died from HIV than from the Vietnam war.
The only place where HIV patients can get information and can find their peers was the gay and lesbian centers, while media such as New York Times at the time, discussed daily over tattooing HIV patients and putting them into the camp. I believe this kind of thought has been adapted as policies toward epidemic diseases. People with Hansen’s disease were discriminated and put into “sanitariums”: which usually located somewhere outside the main part of the country to isolate them completely.
I resonated with the quote “visibility is the most important” the best from Mr. Bordowitz’s talk. This explains why the slogan was “Silence=Death”; if you remain silent against the ignorance of society and just suffer, nothing will be done to save you. HIV is no longer considered to be “gay’s cancer” and many heterosexual people are also dying from this disease all over the world.
Mr. Bordowitz also mentioned about the prohibition over condom use in the prison. As we discussed in class about this, this situation is problematic. It is like the government is allowing to spreaded AIDS. As Mr. Bordowitz stated that we all have to be responsible for own protection, because it doesn’t mean safe when the partner said nothing.”