This article considers the significance of gay men’s personal accounts of living with HIV or AIDS that were published in the gay press across the 1980s. Editors utilised individuals’ accounts of living with the illness to challenge mainstream media representations of gay men’s physical and emotional demise in the “final stages” of the debilitating illness. Such accounts conveyed the message that it was possible to resume one’s life after receiving a positive diagnosis. Gay men’s personal accounts of living with HIV or AIDS evolved from anonymous anecdotes to articles accompanied by the narrator’s full name and photograph by the end of the decade. This shift is attributed to Australia’s Third National AIDS Conference in 1988, whereby people with HIV and AIDS publicly disclosed their positive statuses. This article locates gay men’s personal accounts of living with HIV in a broader transnational shift towards the visibility of people with HIV and AIDS that was underway at that time.
- Australian studies
- gay men