Round-up of recent developments in Australia by Phil Carswell.
A case of AIDS has been confirmed by doctors at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s hospital. At the time of going to press it is believed that the announcement of an additional fourth case at Prince Henry’s is imminent.
The Flinders Medical Centre will be conducting research into AIDS and those factors which may predispose some people to an immuno-deficiency type of disease, in collaboration with research groups in Perth and Sydney.
The Victorian AIDS Action Committee (VAAC), which was formed at a public meeting of the Victorian gay community on 12 July, went public at a press conference on Sunday 7 August.
Gay men in the US are making their own decisions about how to conduct their sex-lives in the face of the AIDS crisis, despite the ongoing political controversy among the gay leadership as to what recommendations they ought to be making.
Gay health workers from all over the US gathered in Denver in June for the Fifth National Lesbian/Gay Health Conference. Proceedings this year were dominated by the controversy surrounding AIDS and the challenge the disease presents to the American gay community.
The Victorian AIDS Action Committee (VAAC) was established at a public meeting in Melbourne on 12 July. Over seventy people attended the meeting at the Laird O’Cockpen Hotel, to which all gay groups in Victoria had been invited.
On Tuesday July 12 a public meeting was held in Melbourne to discuss organising around the AIDS issue. I was the only woman present at that meeting. In May I attended a public meeting at the Sydney Gay Community Centre to discuss similar issues, with particular emphasis on how to deal with the blood bank. There, too, I was the lone lesbian voice.
“There is no doubt that the deliberate creation of public fear and the spread of false information is going on, and that AIDS is being used to attack gay people and gay rights in Australia.”