Dr. Fauci Visited Gay Bathhouses and Bars to Study HIV

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Last week Covid-19 Czar and perhaps the world’s leading expert on AIDS / HIV was on NPR’s Fresh Air. He brought Queer News Tonight to a complete stop when talking about his early days of studying HIV. During the dawn of the 1980’s Fauci need to learn. Here is what he said. “I went to the Castro District. I went down to Greenwich Village, and I went into bathhouses to essentially see what was going on.” At that moment, my already great respect for Dr. Fauci moved to a 10.0 on the richter scale. “This was the very, very early years of the outbreak. We were seeing these large numbers of mostly gay men who were formerly otherwise well, who were being devastated by this terrible, mysterious disease. And it was so concentrated in the gay community that I really wanted to get a feel for what was going on there that would lead to this explosion of a sexually transmitted disease. The epidemiologist in me went, ‘Oh, my goodness, this is a perfect setup for an explosion of a sexually transmitted disease.’ And the same thing going to the gay bars and seeing what was going on, and it gave me a great insight into the explosiveness of the outbreak of the sexually transmitted disease.” He also noted that then-President Ronald Reagan and his religious right supporters made HIV and AIDS research a lot harder, but he doesn’t think Reagan personally hated gay people. Another news moment was how Fauci felt about AIDS activists targeting him in the ’80s for not doing more to combat the epidemic. Fauci said he understood and that it changed him forever. Larry Kramer wrote a famous Op-ed calling Fauci a “murderer.” Fauci replied “I’ll never forget that. He wanted to gain my attention, and he certainly did gain my attention.” Fauci and Kramer later became good friends. And today, the LGBTQ community is a good friend of Dr. Anthony Fauci. And in 2020, the worst year of our lives, even in the dark days of AIDS, we thank Dr. Fauci for standing up for the LGBTQ community.

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