Gay Shamelessness, Beyond the Crystal Meth Crisis

Thom Gunn, the greatest gay poet since Whitman, was one of thousands of urban gay men who fell victim to crystal methamphetamine in 2004. They were a minority only, but the drug’s Leviathon-like addictiveness could swallow a man whole.

Every few weeks brought news or rumors of someone else who “fell down the meth hole”—an exemplary longtime AIDS survivor, a famous AIDS doctor, the most-lusted-after young man in the old days of ACT UP. The gay leadership spoke of meth as “a second epidemic.”

25 Years Ago: ACT UP’s AIDS Treatment Research Agenda

"When the Fifth International AIDS Conference closed in Montreal, AIDS activism changed forever. The white coats — the medical establishment that controlled our destinies — realized they could no longer ignore us. People living with HIV and their fellow advocates pushed their way into the conference (literally, during the opening ceremony), armed with a sophisticated analysis of the sorry state of AIDS treatment research.”

-Peter Staley

Where is he now? Mark Harrington, February 1998 Cover“Why do a demo when you can do a phone call?” That’s what New Yorker and HIV-positive treatment activist Mark Harrington told POZ in 1998, explaining why he had broken away from the street-fighting ACT UP and started an elite research club, Treatment Action Group (TAG).

Where is he now? Mark Harrington, February 1998 Cover

“Why do a demo when you can do a phone call?” That’s what New Yorker and HIV-positive treatment activist Mark Harrington told POZ in 1998, explaining why he had broken away from the street-fighting ACT UP and started an elite research club, Treatment Action Group (TAG).