AIDS Activism and the State in Canada

David M. Rayside, Evert A. Lundquist


The AIDS epidemic, which began in the 1980s and took more than 3000 lives by the end of 1991, posed enormous challenges for Canada's gay and lesbian communities. The spread of the disease provided a new vehicle for morally conservative homophobia and heterosexism, and created opportunities for intrusions by health officials into the private lives of gay men. The relative neglect of state health agencies in the early years of the epidemic placed burdens on local gay networks that could easily have overwhelmed them. All this could have led, as some predicted it would, to political weakness and retreat.

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Studies in Political Economy:
Online ISSN 1918-7033
Print ISSN 0707-8552