The movie, And the Band Played On, discusses the origin of the AIDS virus and how it spontaneously spread across the world. It used the Ebola disease to foreshadow the forth coming of another serious disease. The world was not prepared to handle such a contagious plague. Doctors around the world assumed that the first cases of the HIV virus to be just an abnormality of a certain disease, their carelessness of this matter was the start to the spread of this disease. Throughout this movie, it illustrates different points, such as the beginning of HIV, the misconceptions it gave, and the panic it aroused amongst doctors and the common people.
The AIDS epidemic did not have to happen. It was caused by the negligence from doctors that did not think the matter was a concern. It started out when one patient had the disease, and the doctors concluded that it was a mutated version of a disease. But it turned out that that was the first patient to suffer the HIV virus. If this situation was taken as an important matter, they could have taken that patient to a special institute so that the patient would not be capable of transmitting the disease. For the other patients who also contracted the virus, they could have also taken them to a special institute.
Even when the government knew that there was a serious disease that was going to spread, they did not do anything about it. The reason for this is because they needed scientific evidence that the virus was deadly. Instead of ignoring the matter, they could have taken early precautions instead of waiting until the disease was virtually impossible to stop. If the government had taken these precautions, it wouldn t guarantee the disease being controlled. But what it would do is lower the chances for the virus to spread more.
Fears and misconceptions regarding AIDS began when only the homosexual community contracted it. Therefore, people started to believe that only the homosexuals would get the AIDS and blamed them for the cause of the disease. The public was not in fear until some people who were not homosexuals contracted the disease. It was at this time, that the public s attitude shifted into the fear that anyone was able to have AIDS; it was a sexually transmitted disease. Many were also deceived by the government s actions. For example, one woman in the movie began to become sick after a blood transfusion.
She always thought that it was due to surgical problems, but actually she had contracted AIDS and the doctors knew but didn t do anything about it. This also caused panic because, even though the government knew AIDS was spreading around they did not do anything about it. Politics played a tremendous role in the movie. The best example would be when doctor Gallun was competing with the French to be recognized as the founder of AIDS. Due to this conflict, the matter needed to be taken into court so that it could be resolved.
The problem was that if there was a lawsuit, the process of creating a cure for the virus would take ten times as long. That is why doctor Gallun and the French were willing to settle the matter privately. Although many parts throughout the movie affected me in terms of beginning to fear the AIDS virus, the part that affected me the most would be how the government keeps a lot of facts away from the government. I have seen this happen in X-files, and other television shows, but in those cases it is related to extra-terrestrial matter.
In this movie, it is related to AIDS and how even though the government knew there was such a virus they did not even make an effort to stop it. It frightens me because at the present moment, there could be an antidote for the AIDS virus, but because it is not scientifically proven to work it is therefore not legal to be sold. If this was really true, I think it would create great panic in the world because people would revolt against the government and chaos would be all around. After watching the movie, And the Band Played On, I find myself believing that one day I would be at risk of contracting AIDS.
This is a horrifying thought, just imagining it can seem as though it was reality. The statistical analysis also frightens me, By the year 2000 more than 40 million people will have AIDS. Even though it is less than one percent of the total world population, it is still a growing number. Maybe this could be the virus that is going to wipe out the entire human civilization just like the dinosaurs being wiped out by a meteor. But even though the movie projects shocking ideas, I thought that it was a very educational video.