Between the 1980s and 1990s, global society was grappling with a dangerous disease that was not well-known and did not have treatment. With the presence of effective testing procedures in place, many people started to discriminate and disassociate with those who were believed to have HIV/AIDS. These malpractices resulted in a unique form of fear that defined human relations. The nature of this prejudice and discrimination indicates that those who had the disease were the primary target of ongoing persecution (Heller e45). A majority of them were believed to be gay and having sexual intercourse with fellow men. HIV was associated with a practice that was viewed negatively by many people in the United States and across the globe. This occurrence is identified with a specific group of individuals who had the condition and were believed to be gay. Consequently, they became the primary target of other members of wider society.
Throughout this period of fear, many people suspected that such individuals could attack and abuse them since they were gay. They feared that certain social behaviors and practices could deteriorate if more citizens were allowed to engage in such a gay lifestyle (Heller e47). The targeted individuals encountered numerous challenges, such as prejudice and shaming in public. Such occurrences and outcomes could be compared with the Salem witch hunts because they entailed a unique abuse of specific members of the community who were identified as different. Historical events also triggered unprecedented disharmony in the affected communities. Additionally, the perpetrators were pursuing their actions without having concrete information or evidence about the outlined accusations. Consequently, the average historian would ascertain that both malpractices were inappropriate and unacceptable.
Heller, Jacob. “Rumors and Realities: Making Sense of HIV/AIDS Conspiracy Narratives and Contemporary Legends.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 105, no. 1, 2015, pp. e43-e50.