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AIDS, Culture, and Gay Men$
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Douglas A. Feldman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034317

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034317.001.0001

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The Movement That Was Not?

The Movement That Was Not?

Gay Men and AIDS in Urban Greece, 1950–1993

Chapter:
(p.231) 13 The Movement That Was Not?
Source:
AIDS, Culture, and Gay Men
Author(s):

Brian Riedel

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813034317.003.0013

In Greece, AIDS during the 1980s was seen as something both foreign and not significantly related to same-sex sexuality. Indeed, in the early years people were learning about AIDS even before the first cases in the country were confirmed — what this chapter calls an “epidemic of information.” As the actual epidemic of HIV infection and AIDS grew, there was a general reluctance to see it as a problem affecting the Greek gay community. This chapter examines the history of AIDS in Greece as it relates to gay men, the nation's changing politics, and AIDS activism and gay rights activism. Through archival work and interviews with current activists in Athens, it argues that the adaptation of activist strategies and arguments regarding AIDS was shaped by a range of partially articulated cultural assumptions about same-sex sexuality. It suggests that those cultural assumptions, rather than fostering institutional connections between gay rights activism and AIDS activism, encouraged a structural divide between various activist endeavors.

Keywords:   Greece, AIDS, HIV infection, activism, gay rights, gay men, same-sex sexuality, politics, cultural assumptions

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