Burn This Historical Context

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Sexuality and Disease

When Lanford Wilson was writing Burn This, the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) epidemic was a major issue for homosexuals. But Wilson never refers to AIDS; instead the play is a heterosexual love story. But AIDS was not far from the news in 1987; AZT, a drug to treat AIDS, was approved by the FDA. Although AZT was expensive, predicted to cost at least $10,000 per year per patient, it was the first treatment that offered hope for AIDS victims. Another effort to halt the AIDS epidemic was suggested by the United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who argued that condom commercials should be permitted to air on television. Koop's suggestion was greeted with shock by those groups who argued that condom advertisements would encourage more illicit sexual activity. Some religious groups, who interpreted AIDS as God's punishment of homosexuals, wanted total abstinence to be the...

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This section contains 639 words
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Buy the Burn This Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Burn This from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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