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26 MIN READ TIME

THE EARLY DAYS OF THE BATTLE

When we think of those early battles against HIV and AIDS, one of the groundbreaking moments was the discovery of AZT – an antiretroviral which could tackle HIV at a time when there seemed no answer.

Marty explains: “In the United States the first indications that we had a new syndrome, which eventually became known as HIV AIDS, was in 1981 when Michael Botley reported on a small group of his patients who were young white males who had pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, which prior to that time had only been seen in very aged men who were close to death. The numbers increased astronomically. Within just a few months we already had several hundred people with this new syndrome and already we were observing a 50 percent fatality rate. Within a few years we had thousands of people, and maintained that 50 percent fatality rate. It was obviously a new disease which was spreading rapidly, causing a great deal of apprehension, fear, stigma. Mostly due to a lack of information and ignorance about how it was spread. It was truly a terrifying time.

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About GCN

We’re closing our 30th anniversary celebrations with a bang, celebrating the year of the activist. With that in mind, we arranged for community leaders to speak to the next generation of trailblazers as both sides share their experiences. A Brazilian writer living in Ireland takes a look at his home country following the election of Bolsonaro, while Marty St Clair, one of the scientists behind the discovery of AZT, speaks about the beginnings of the battle against HIV and AIDS. Frank McDonald stops by to talk about his recently released memoirs. There’s an essential look at mental health in the queer community, and the people behind the awesome Dublin Lesbian Line tell us their plans for the future. You can also expect a roundup of a momentous year for LGBTQI+ folk and your community magazine. We couldn’t have done it without you, dear readers!

Other Articles in this Issue


Non-Section
As the year draws to a close we’re having a reflective moment in GCN towers. 2018 was a momentous year, for the country in general and an extra special one for us, as we marked our 30th year in publishing- three glorious decades of being the national LGBTQ+ press in Ireland. This is a milestone we would not have reached without you, dear readers! With that in mind, here are some of our GCN highlights
Feature: Community
PEOPLE OFTEN ASK ME WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A SAMESEX PARENT. WELL IT’S PRETTY MUCH THE SAME AS BEING A PARENT. ONLY THAT YOUR PARTNER IS OF THE SAME GENDER
HAVE NEVER REALLY BEEN A FAN OF THE WORD ‘BISEXUAL’. FROM A PURELY PHONETIC POINT OF VIEW IT DOESN’T ROLL OFF THE TONGUE. ‘BI’ NEVER WORKED FOR ME EITHER
HIV
ACT UP Cork member and PLWHIV, Will Kennedy speaks about his disappointment with HIV treatment services in Cork. Photograph by Stephen Moloney
Feature: Music
In 2018, it’s hard to picture pop culture without RuPaul’s Drag Race. Queens from the show sell out venues, references are everywhere, judge Michelle Visage has even become an Irish TV star thanks to Ireland’s Got Talent. But before the advent of the massive reality show, RuPaul launched into the mainstream in November of 1992 thanks to the hit single ‘Supermodel (You Better Work)’
Although Christmas is her season, Mariah Carey is not content
What’s keeping Stephen Boylan up at night this month?
Feature
How did a far-right, pro-torture, dictatorship-praising populist become Brazil’s president-elect in 2018? Originally from Brazil but now living in Ireland, Guilherme Souza talks about the situation back home
With a recent report showing that over 47 percent of Irish LGBTQI+ people live with depression, Chris O’Donnell speaks about societal attitudes to our community’s mental health as well as their own experience in accessing services
Due to personal reasons Peter Dunne took an extended leave of absence from exercise. Here he talks about how Pilates turned things around
Providing an essential community service since 1979, the Dublin Lesbian Line have been tireless in their support of those who need it. Peter Dunne speaks to the people behind the line that is not just for Dublin, and not just for lesbians
Feature: Round Up
2018 has been a memorable year for the Irish LGBT+ community with GCN reporting on over 1,400 stories on our site alone. Here are just some of the milestones and highlights for Ireland’s LGBT+ community over the past 365 days
Sponsored Content
The recent rollout of the HIV Self-Test Autotest VIH into pharmacies should be broadly welcomed, says Eugene Renehan
It was 2013 when Carlos Velasquez arrived in Dublin from Venezuela, a country whose downward spiral now sees it on the brink of economic and social collapse. Here he speaks to Aoife Moriarty about being the target of both verbal and physical abuse. Photograph by Hazel Coonagh
Feature: Conversation
GCN was a fly on the wall as a new generation of trailblazers sat down with esteemed community leaders to share their experiences. Each of the amazing pairings spoke about their lives, how attitudes have changed from generation to generation and how they look after themselves when times are tough. Photographs by Hazel Coonagh
Community chest
Following the launch of the LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy in
Journalist, previous Irish Times Environmental Editor and scourge of corrupt property developers and cynical politicians, Frank McDonald has released his memoirs - Truly Frank. It tells the story of growing up in the Dublin of the 1950’s and ‘60s and how a young gay man navigated a scene forced underground
It’s Christmas time... and there’s no need to be afraid. Unless you’re Rosita Quinlan