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AIDS and 1982/1983 a story

I sometimes feel bad that so many friends here entered puberty in a world where AIDS is reality.

I entered puberty in a world where we boys could relate sexually to the teen in Summer of 42 (the one who had sex with the war widow). A world where consequences of sex was pregnancy and/or herpes.

This all changed for me and my friends in a Catholic HS during junior year 82/83.


In science class we had Mr X (not real last initial). A former hippie. We had him for Biology for the year. He was cool and fairly easy. In late 82 a student asked him about AIDs which we just started hearing about. He responded "don't worry its an exotic disease".

Yet every few weeks he talked about it but said he was gathering info he did take back the "exotic" comment.

So in 1983 Spring. A student asked "we don't have to worry about it if we aren't gay". He said angrily "Bullshit". He said "Men cheat on their wives and girlfriends and some of these men are bisexuals. This will be the catalyst to launch it to everyone". Yes I cringe today that he said it, yet I think he really wanted us not to be lax about AIDs and to take it seriously.

He then walked to the blackboard and wrote in large letters "SEX CAN KILL".

He was rather apocalyptic though yet thought it would be cured withen 5 years. We all knew he was a hippie and alluded to the 60s and free love quite nostalgically before talking bitterly about his friends he lost in "Nixon's War".


Throughout the rest of the year he discussed articles he read about it. He never looked at it from a moral POV but scientific and cultural. I remember him talking (wrongly) that he feared condoms wouldn't be thick enough to contain the AIDs virus. He also believed what he enjoyed and the sexual attitudes of the 1960s was officially over and AIDS killed it.

I still think of the 1980s as the decade of AIDS. I hope the Goldbergs (ABC) discusses it since you can't really mention the 1980s without mentioning AIDS.


I look back and realize that day when he said "Bullshit" was a day where innocence was lost. AIDS truly changed thinking of sex, you just couldn't think "worse is herpes and other STDs that can be controlled or pregnancy" but "sex can kill you". That teen from Summer of 42 was one you could afford to relate to any more, forget also the fantasies of the musical HAIR.

Anyone in HS during this era? Do you recall what your teachers said? I still recall what he wrote on the blackboard.

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