And the band played on – AIDS in America

Randy Shilts
Randy Shilts (©Chris Neuman/Flickr)

Anne Blair Gould meets American journalist and author Randy Shilts. He covered the onset (early 1980s) and of the AIDS epidemic for the San Francisco Chronicle. As he found out more about the disease, he realised it was being ignored by the people who mattered because the victims were largely homosexuals, drug addicts and blacks. He became a fierce campaigner for public attention for the disease and urged proper research. “And the Band Played On” is a report on his tenacious fight to get AIDS on the political and medical agenda in the United States. His biggest critics, at first, were leaders of the gay community who accused him of being alarmist. Shilts himself died of AIDS  in 1994.

Producer: Anne Blair Gould