Analysis Of The Movie And The Band Played On

analytical Essay
1061 words
1061 words

In the movie And the Band Played On, stakeholders’ interests stymied public health efforts to research and implement health policy to control the rapidly emerging disease, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The stakeholders within the movie, those whose interest would be impacted by policy change, included the affected populations, scientists, state and federal public health officials, and organizations including blood banks. Early in the epidemic, the Center for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were tentative in disclosing vital information – many homosexual men were becoming infected in the bathhouses (Pillsbury, Sanford, & Spottiswoode, 1993). Despite having the supporting evidence of patient zero and a sexual cluster …show more content…

The movie, And the Band Played On, portrays a current issue the U.S. health care system face: the effects of societal perceptions of people who should receive health care support. Those perceived as undeserving are disregarded. Homosexual men were the first to be affected by AIDS in the US, and because of this, the stigma of homosexuality prevented developing health care policy to control the epidemic. Homosexuality was, and to a lesser extent now, not widely accepted. Marginalizing gay individuals was seen in the movie at the beginning, when media coverage on AIDs would not include “homosexual” within the news title (Pillsbury, Sanford, & Spottiswoode, 1993). This represents how media has to be marketed; the broader public will not be interested if a new disease only affects an undesirable population. Another example of this negligence is seen when Phillip Burton is asked to introduce a bill on AIDS. He agrees, but does not hesitate to retort, “They couldn’t get a dime out of this administration with the name gay on it” (Pillsbury, Sanford, & Spottiswoode, 1993). Finally, in order to change the perception, at the CDC conference with blood agencies, they renamed gay related immune deficiency (GRID) to AIDS, and the film cuts to news segments finally covering …show more content…

Dr. Donald Francis, in the movie And the Band Played On, was portrayed as an easily angered man whose communication style was ineffective in persuading. An important example was during the CDC and blood agency workshop, with the CDC trying to convince the agencies to spend money to screen for hepatitis B as a proxy for AIDS (Pillsbury, Sanford, & Spottiswoode, 1993). After hearing reasons to why the agencies are hesitant to do this, Dr. Francis begins to angrily yell about cost efficiency required to save lives. In the eyes of these agencies, transfusion complications occur, and AIDS may not even be relevant. Screaming closes the door to discussion, as seen when the blood agencies representatives turn their head and refuse to

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how stakeholders' interests stymied public health efforts to research and implement health policy to control the rapidly emerging disease, acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
  • Explains that money played a role with blood banks and their impetus in preventing infection with contaminated blood.
  • Explains that while many stakeholders negatively impacted public health prevention of the early hiv/aids epidemic, some stakeholders did have a positive impact, including representative phillip burton from california.
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