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Hiv And The Second Sexual Revolution

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The period from the 1960s until the 1980s is one that many would define as the second sexual revolution. Different kinds of relationships and alternative forms of sexuality became increasingly accepted. Then, in the 1980s, the AIDS crisis gained national attention and the perception of sexuality changed dramatically. People became less liberal about sex as they tried to protect themselves from the disease. Because HIV had not garnered much attention in the media before the 1980s, scientists had not really focused on finding a treatment. HIV, which stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus which weakens the immune system of its host by reproducing in the host’s immune cells. Unlike most viruses, the human body cannot clear HIV out…show more content…
As of yet, no real cure to the disease has been found, but doctors have a much better understanding of it. Fortunately, there is a better understanding of it now, but that was not always the case. The AIDS crisis of the 1980s caused widespread panic in the public view and gave people reason to condemn sexual freedom in an attempt to protect themselves from the disease.
The 1960s was a period of change in America. Civil rights movements were at the forefront of domestic culture, protests against racial discrimination took a main role, but seemingly everyone was fighting for equal rights of some kind. Among these, were liberal, sometimes radical peace movements and intertwined with these movements came the concept of “free love.” People became more liberal about sexuality and the way they viewed other people’s sex lives. This culture of free love remained fairly strong through the 1970s, but when the AIDS crisis became a concern in the early 1980s, people panicked, and the liberty that people had in the 1960s and 70s seemed to disappear.
One of the big proponents in the way the perception of sexuality changed in the 1980s was Christianity, perhaps because Christianity took a backseat during the so-called sexual revolution in the 1960s and 70s. Religious response to the AIDS crisis generally leaned towards one of two poles: blaming the victim, or helping the victim. In Christianity and Social Issues, Michael Keene says “AIDS
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