The Aids Epidemic

Fear arising because of Aids

The History of AIDS in 1980's

Aids was first recognized as a new disease in 1981 were there were various of young men who were "succumbed to unusual opportunistic infections and rare malignancies" (History of HIV and AIDS). There were also reports in California and New York of a number of men who were diagnosed with a form of cancer or pneumonia. This cancer usually affected older men from the Mediterranean, people of Jewish heritage and African men. The only other characteristic that they were able to find between these men was that they were gay. As more and more cases were being heard of they had found out that all of these men were impotent to illnesses just like pneumonia. On June 5, 1981the first documentation of the condition was published by the center for disease control and prevention. The report described the cases of five gay young men who were hospitalized with Pneumocystis Pneumonia Carinii. "At the end of 1981, 5 to 6 new cases of the disease were being reported each week" (History of HIV and AIDS). It has been labeled as gay-related immune deficiency or Grid and more than 22 million people worldwide have died of aids over the past two decades.

Propaganda Used to Educated on Aids

Ryan White

Ryan white was a 13 year old boy who was hemophiliac had contracted aids on March 3, 1985. After he was diagnosed with aids he got expelled form his middle school, many of the students and parents feared Ryan as well as his family because they feared that they would end up infected with aids. Although people feared him he still fought for his right to an education and to attend school. This forced Central Indiana to fight with difficult issues that involved this disease. in 1985 Ryan began his fight to attend a public school in Kokomo that had banned him because of the fearful students and parents. Ryan was taunted in school and his family was faced with discrimination, so they moved to a faming town about 20 miles from Kokomo in 1987. At the age of 18 Ryan White passed away at Riley Hospital for Children. In 1990 The Ryan White HIV/AIDS program was first authorized which funds support primary medical care and essential support services.

The Crucible

Both the epidemic of Aids and The Crucible involve fear in the community. The fear that causes people to turn on each other in The Crucible can relate to the fear of people turning on those with Aids. In The Crucible it states, "Now look you. All of you. We danced" (Miller 10340). The girls show fear because the town knows the truth about what actually happened while they were in the forest, so Abigail has to remind them of what they did because she is fearful of her own safety as well as the safety of the girls. This relates to the epidemic of Aids because just like Ryan White people are fearful of him and think that they will get what he has, so he fights to get back into school and to teach everyone what Aids really is. The Crucible the hysteria of aids both relate to one another because in The Crucible Arthur Miller states, "And why not, if they must hang for denyin' it? There are them that will swear to anything before they'll hang. Have you never thought of that?" (Miller Act 2). This shows how witchcraft is being handled and the they are all helpless because the people will do anything in order to not get hanged. They fear it, and are too afraid to understand what will happen to them. The Aids epidemic relates to The Crucible because it is showing how people think that those with Aids are contagious and dangerous. This then causes fear between everyone, they all think that those with Aids will do harm to them so they decide to treat them differently.

Work Cited

Robert Neil Jackson, "Coping with the reality of AIDS: A rhetorical analysis of Kokomo, Indiana's response to the Ryan White- Western Schools Corporation controversy" ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. n.p. Web. 7 Dec. 2014


"History of HIV & AIDS in the U.S.A." HIV and AIDS Information and Resources. Avert. Web. 7 Dec. 2014.


Kher, Unmesh. "A Name for the Plague." Time Inc. 31 March 2003. Web. 7 Dec 2014.


Hahn, Beatrice. Sharp, Paul. "Origins of HIV and the AIDS Pandemic." Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. n. p. 2011. Web. 7 Dec 2014.


Johnson, Dirk. "Ryan White Dies of AIDS at 18; His Struggle Helped Pierce Myths." The New York Times. The New York Times Company. 9 Apr. 1990. Web. 7 dec 2014.