AND THE BAND PLAYED ON RANDY SHILTS PDF

He was Best known for his groundbreaking writing on the disease that took his life, Shilts was hailed by gay leaders and fellow journalists as a pioneer whose work propelled AIDS out of anonymity and into the consciousness of mainstream America. Respected for his dogged reporting, painstaking research and obsession with fairness, Shilts became the first newspaper reporter to cover the gay community full time shortly after he was hired by the Chronicle in Later, he persuaded the newspaper to let him focus exclusively on the then-mysterious disease that came to be known as AIDS. In , he published an acclaimed book about the epidemic and its neglect by government, science and some gay organizations.

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He was Best known for his groundbreaking writing on the disease that took his life, Shilts was hailed by gay leaders and fellow journalists as a pioneer whose work propelled AIDS out of anonymity and into the consciousness of mainstream America. Respected for his dogged reporting, painstaking research and obsession with fairness, Shilts became the first newspaper reporter to cover the gay community full time shortly after he was hired by the Chronicle in Later, he persuaded the newspaper to let him focus exclusively on the then-mysterious disease that came to be known as AIDS.

In , he published an acclaimed book about the epidemic and its neglect by government, science and some gay organizations. Warner Bros. His father, Bud, sold prefabricated housing, while his mother, Norma, saw that Randy and his four brothers grew up as solid Methodists. He went west for college, choosing the University of Oregon in Eugene and beginning his journalism career on the student paper. Eventually, he signed on as Northwest correspondent for the Advocate, a national gay and lesbian magazine, and later made his way to San Francisco.

After several years as a television and free-lance journalist, Shilts was hired by the Chronicle, becoming the first openly gay reporter at a major metropolitan newspaper.

That same year marked the emergence of a rare pneumonia and skin cancer afflicting a handful of gay men in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. He had allowed his doctor to test him a year earlier, but asked not to be told the result, fearing it might influence his reporting. He did not disclose his condition publicly until last year. For three years, he took the drug AZT and his health remained good. Friends said Shilts had been mostly homebound since then, weak and tethered to an oxygen machine but continuing to enjoy life with his partner, Barry Barbieri, and beloved golden retriever, Dashiel.

City health department officials, who expect the number of AIDS cases to decrease dramatically by , credit aggressive prevention efforts for the trend. Shilts is survived by Barbieri, who was beside him when he died; four brothers, Gary, Reed, Dennis and David, and his stepmother, Pat.

Funeral services have not yet been scheduled.

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Randy Shilts

Early life[ edit ] Born August 8, , in Davenport, Iowa , Shilts grew up in Aurora, Illinois , with five brothers in a conservative, working-class family. While an undergraduate he came out publicly as gay, [1] and ran for student office with the slogan "Come out for Shilts. Books[ edit ] In addition to his extensive journalism, Shilts wrote three books. The book broke new ground, being written at a time when "the very idea of a gay political biography was brand-new. Shilts and his assistants conducted over a thousand interviews while researching the book, the last chapter of which Shilts dictated from his hospital bed. That gave me the concept for the book, the idea of taking people and using them as vehicles, symbols for different ideas.

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And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic

To me, that summed up the whole problem of dealing with AIDS in the media. Obviously, the reason I covered AIDS from the start was that, to me, it was never something that happened to those other people. Everyone responded with an ordinary pace to an extraordinary situation. A marked difference in these cities arose in two phases of consciousness in the gay community: "Before" in , and "After" by The San Francisco Department of Public Health began tracing the disease, linked it to certain sexual practices, and made recommendations—stop having sex—to gay men to avoid getting sick, a directive that defied the chief reason why many gay men had migrated to the Castro, and for what gay rights activists in San Francisco had fought for years. With no information on how the disease was spread, hospital staff were often reluctant to handle AIDS patients, and Shilts reported that some medical personnel refused to treat them at all. The colleague switched the samples, Shilts reported, because of a grudge he had against the Pasteur Institute.

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