Working together? Medical professionals, gay community organisations and the response to HIV/AIDS in Australia, 1983-1985
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This article provides an in-depth analysis of the relationship between gay men, community organisations and the medical profession between 1983 and 1985 in Australia, a period when the key features of that nation’s HIV/AIDS public health policy were determined. It charts the continuing acceptance of a medical mode of understanding homosexual behaviour. The article uses a range of original sources to investigate the relationship and tensions between medical professionals and gay men. The conservative state of Queensland is used a case study. The article argues that while some gay men were resistant to what they saw as continuing medical surveillance of their sexual behaviour, the Australian gay male community overwhelmingly were prepared to accept medical expertise and to play a central role in educating and informing homosexual men. It also shows the crucial role leaders of gay community organisations played by acting as intermediaries between medical professionals and the gay community, empowering homosexual men to make informed choices about prevention.
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