Video – Syphillis and AIDS in the 1980s

RTB: A fascinating look back at a confusing and conflicted era; this video by Colman Jones takes a deep look at the many problems and processes, and multiple infections driving early AIDS or GRID-type immune suppression. Of note is the role of undiagnosed syphilis, as well as the danger of antibiotic use for immune suppression.

2 thoughts on “Video – Syphillis and AIDS in the 1980s

  1. Documentary series produced by Toronto journalist Colman Jones in 1993 for the MacLean-Hunter Cable TV program Undercurrents, assisted by executive producers Hans Burgschmidt and Mark Surman, with generous help from John Scythes, Max Allen, and many others. This low-budget production grew out of a set of 4 half-hour programs originally shot and edited in 1990, funded by a grant from the Toronto Living with AIDS Project, a community cable video initiative by John Greyson and Michael Balser. Part 4 of this series concludes by looking at how the advent of antibiotics and the emergence of the gay liberation movement in the last few decades has affected the diagnosis of syphilis, particulary the blood tests – now under increasing scrutiny in people with HIV – and examines various treatment options, including both penicillin and immune-based therapies. The series concludes by assessing the response to this debate by the AIDS community, and reflects on the politics of science and sex. The series won a MacLean-Hunter Lizzie Award in the Current Affairs category, received an Ontario Cable Television Association (OCTA) award, and was later rebroadcast in 1994 on the Rogers TV community cable channels in Toronto and Vancouver.«

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